Friday, 6 August 2010


Yet another works outing, this time to Tolethorpe Hall to see the Stamford Shakespeare Company's  production of Othello.
This is a covered open-air theatre in the grounds of an old minor stately home. Our original plan was to go to Tolethorpe Hall in the afternoon, wander about a bit, have a picnic, and then watch the play. But the weather turned cold and wet so we scrubbed the picnic and had fish and chips instead. But it was still cold sitting in the open-air theatre!
This is an amateur Shakespeare Company, which is apparently well resourced as it actually owns the venue. The production and acting weren't brilliant although overall it was good enough. They were all in 'Shakespearean mode' of course, which is understandable, but it can be overdone with actors speaking in stentorian tones, enunciating. The stage design looked OK but, as it was made out of plywood, and the actors were all wearing big heavy leather knee-length boots, it was all a bit clod-hoppingly clumpy as they moved about. The actor playing Iago was quite good but was about twice as old as the part he was playing, and I think he could have done more to get across the point that Iago does all this evil manipulation for its own sake as well as out of bitterness at being passed over for promotion. Othello himself moved a little awkwardly but was reasonably commanding as befits the role. Full marks for effort; and well done by their own non-professional standards. Shame about the weather!

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