Review: Othello

Bard serves up powerhouse as second stage opens

Luc Roderique and Kayla Deorksen in Othello at Bard on the Beach featured on www.VancouverTheatre.ca

Luc Roderique and Kayla Deorksen in Othello at Bard on the Beach to September 20 – Photo: David Blue

Review by Max D’Ambrosio

Bard on the Beach’s Othello is a dramatic powerhouse that does the material proud.

The American Civil War setting is a good fit for Othello’s arc, conveyed through excellent costuming (Mara Gottler).

Although certain music and sound cues feel a little awkward in terms of tone, all aspects of the show are extraordinarily polished and absorbing.

Cast displays amazing work

Luc Roderique, Kayla Deorksen, Kayvon Kelly, and Luisa Jojic do amazing work as Othello, Desdemona, Iago, and Emilia, respectively. Watching both the sincerity and the deception that passes between the four of them in each scene is like watching sparks pass between lightning rods.

Othello and Iago’s facsimile of friendship is well painted. Othello’s character exposes all of the contrasting strength and frailty one could want from a protagonist. Iago’s antagonism is sympathetic despite – or because of – his tortured cynicism.

Determined integrity

Every scene between Desdemona and Emilia is touching and thought-provoking, with Deorksen and Jojic bringing out Desdemona’s determined integrity and Emilia’s inquisitive nature. A mention should also go to Andrew Cownden, whose skillful comedic portrayal of Iago’s dupe Roderigo is a subtle funhouse-mirror image of Othello’s fall, showing the effects of Iago’s manipulation on a less formidable man.

Devastating performances make this production well worth the heartbreak one experiences as an audience member.

The Bottom Line

This is Othello at its finest – a tragic spectacle not to be missed.


Bard on the Beach, Vanier Park

To September 20

in repertory with Pericles
Purchase tickets


Romeo and Juliet,  The Merry Wives of Windsor,  Othello,  Pericles
Read: Artistic Director, Christopher Gaze “We have so much further to go”.




Cast: Ian Butcher, Andrew Cownden, Kayla Deorksen, Jeff Gladstone, Luisa Jojic, Kayvon Kelly, Sereana Malani, Shaker Paleja, Kamyar Pazandeh, Luc Roderique, David Warburton,

Production: Bob Frazer – Director, Mara Gottler – Costume Designer, Amir Ofek – Scenic Design, John Webber – Lighting Design, Steven Charles – Sound Designer, Nicholas Harrison – Fight Director, Joanne P.B. Smith – Production Stage Manager, Ruth Bruhn – Assistant Stage Manager, Jennifer Stewart – Apprentice Stage Manager, Jessica Nelson – Directing Apprentice.


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