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This content is taken from the University of Birmingham & Royal Shakespeare Company's online course, Othello: In Performance. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds NICK WALTON: We’ve looked at some of the ways in which Shakespeare’s use of language in the opening moments of the play help to paint a mental picture of the moor, which was then challenged as soon as the moor began to speak for himself. You’re now going to be watching the actors from the current production rehearse and perform the opening moments of the play. Look at the different ways they deliver Shakespeare’s lines, all certain words or phrases given particular emphasis? And what sort of business to they tried building into the scene? What are they doing? How do they interact with one another? How do you imagine that they would be different if a fellow was also there with them?

Skip to 0 minutes and 51 seconds Rehearsal is a playful process. And by playing Shakespeare’s lines, the actors discover possibilities and opportunities. As you watch the actors working with Iqbal, you might like to think about their approach to this opening scene and the delivery of some of the lines we’ve been thinking about.

The opening Scene

In this video Nick discusses Act 1 Scene 1, introducing some things to look out for as you watch the opening scene in performance and in a rehearsal environment, playing with different interpretations of the text.

  • As you watch the possible interpretations and final choices of the 2015 acting company and director Iqbal Khan, what are you most interested to see?

  • What choices would you make as an actor or director?

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This video is from the free online course:

Othello: In Performance

University of Birmingham