Art And Culture

Othello as ‘Matador’ in New Play

Othello as ‘Matador’ in New PlayOthello as ‘Matador’ in New Play

The director of the play “O the Lo!” said Othello is portrayed as a matador in this version of William Shakespeare’s well-known tragedy.

Amir Afshari speaking to Mehr News Agency about his latest performance in Av Theater said the idea for the play developed during a theater workshop at Av institute. Participants worked on improvised etudes based on the scene in Othello where he murders his wife, Desdemona, using classical music and body movements as the medium. “Watching the etudes, Soheil A’rabi and I decided to adapt the tragedy on stage with a complete new dramaturgy.”

Initially it was supposed to be performed without dialogs and only reflect body movements. However, during the rehearsals “we came up with the idea of creating two parallel worlds. There is a clown, who is normally ignored in productions, but this character is emphasized in our version,” he explained.

Based on this idea, one of the two worlds belongs to the romantic story of Othello and Desdemona which is presented in music and choreographed body movements and in the other, characters of Iago, Cassio, Roderigo, and Emilia are presented as circus clowns and jokers, all played by only two actors, he said. The performance ends with Desdemona being murdered by Othello and contrary to Shakespeare’s play, Othello’s “regret is not seen on stage.”


Afshari pointed out that in his version “Othello and Desdemona do not utter any dialogs and their scenes are narrated.”

“We had an unconventional reading and even we were not certain if the tragedy and farce, as two opposing genres, could complement each other in one performance.”

The play is performed in the lobby of Av Theater which is a renovated cellar that can hold only 40 spectators at a time.

The performance starts at 7 pm daily and will continue till October 22. The theater is situated in No. 26, Jahanmehr St., beginning of Shahid Gomnam Ave., Fatemi Square, Tehran.