Dudley's favourite son Lenny Henry gets serious and proves a Bard hit.
Othello gives him a chance to stretch his acting muscles and move an audience with his tale of a man ripped apart by jealousy.
His Othello is a man of strong passions. When he falls in love, he falls hard and, when he suspects his wife of cheating on him, he is consumed by anger and his world falls apart around him.
It’s a powerful Shakespeare debut and Lenny proves more than up to the task.
His pain when he believes his wife Desdemona is deceiving him is heartbreaking and his rage drives him to kill the only person he has ever loved.
Pouring poison in Othello’s ear is Conrad Nelson as master manipulator Iago.
He’s a straight-talking bloke and mates with everyone in public, but in private his own bitterness and envy eats away at him.
He wants to destroy Othello and is ruthless in his plot to drive him insane with jealousy. Iago just wants everyone to suffer as much as he does and his problems would keep a shrink in business for years.
The excellent Northern Broadsides provides strong backing for Lenny with Jessica Harris proving a lively and spirited Desdemona in love with her husband to the bitter end.
Richard Standing as Cassio also gives one of the best performances of a drunk I’ve seen for a long time. He reluctantly gets legless as Iago plies him with booze with the aim to wreck his friendship with Othello.
The study in jealously is a little static at times, but Lenny as Othello is a joy to watch. He should be proud of taking on such a massive challenge and suceeding.
*Running time 2hrs 50mins. Until Saturday, April 11. Sold out - returns only.