Seconds out. Othello gets into the ring for title fight at Omnibus Theatre

Othello is set to get a 21st Century makeover, in a punchy new production from Darren Raymond, at London’s Omnibus Theatre this June.

Shakespeare’s gripping tragedy, a tale of manipulation, division and revenge, adapted and directed by Raymond, will be an unconventional mashup of language, modern-day references and fresh casting, giving a new voice and relevance to this powerful classic.

Othello: Remixed transports Othello’s story to London, 2019.

Set in a boxing ring, championship boxer Othello has chosen Michael Cassio to be his corner man.

Rejected, Iago, consumed with jealousy, plots Othello’s downfall and Desdemona finds herself in the centre of their conflict.

Darren Raymond, artistic director of Intermission Theatre Company, said: “Othello: Remixed presents the perfect opportunity for this play to be seen by a wider audience.

“Shakespeare has long been excluded from certain sections of society, but the issues he wrote about 400 years ago are just as relevant to many young people today: knife crime, postcode rivalry, jealousy, friendship, love and hope.

“Showing ownership of these stories and hearing the iambic pentameter beat alongside the heart of London is so important and I hope, will be inspiring to many.”

Othello Remixed will star Kwame Reed as The Moor, Hoda Bentaher as Desdemona, Baba Oyejide as Iago and Iain Gordon as Rico, with further casting to be announced

Kwame’s credits include The Watchman (Channel 4) and lead role in the short film, Urban stories Vol.1: The Death of Laura Farmer.

He is also a Poet/Spoken Word artist who creates thought-provoking, political material online. Last year he released a poem, Young Black Boy, to critical acclaim, which touched on the topics of racism and self-hate.

Baba’s recent credits include: High & Dry (E4), Manifesto (Ovalhouse Theatre as part of Brixton City Festival). He has just finished filming a new series for Netflix.

Hoda combines an acting and writing career. She most recently starred in an episode of Casualty [BBC One] and played Nur in Josh Azouz’s Buggy Baby at Hackney Wick’s The Yard Theatre, directed by Ned Bennett.

Iain has already worked with Sir Mark Rylance, director Peter Kosminsky and actor Idris Elba. He performed in Verona Road (based on Romeo and Juliet) at London schools and the National Criminal Justice Arts Alliance Annual Conference, and has appeared in Sonnet Walks (Shakespeare’s Globe). He has just completed filming Faith, directed by Ashley Chin.

Intermission Theatre has been creating reimagined Shakespeare plays since 2008, exploring the Bard’s work through the eyes of a diverse company.

Its patrons are Mark Rylance and Naomie Harris.

Mark Rylance said: “Darren’s vision and the work of Intermission has become synonymous with using Shakespeare to reveal the culture of youth growing up in London today.

“I am really excited by this restaging and hope that it will introduce new audiences to Shakespeare and the transformative power that his words still hold to this day.”

Othello: Remixed runs at the Omnibus Theatre from June 25 – July 14.

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