Othello is one of the best known of William Shakespeare’s dramas – the study of an obsessive jealousy and hatred, alienation and political intrigue. The title hero is the Moor who marries the daughter of a Venetian senator, Desdemona. Due to the intrigues of his ensign, he starts to suspect her of adultery which leads to a tragedy. In his interpretation of Shakespeare’s story, Paweł Szkotak underlines cultural differences between the East and West, setting the story in contemporary times but avoiding any references to a specific geographical region. As Anna Rogulska writes in the show’s review: “Differences are marked by music – on the one side, they dance to Jealousy by Frankie Miller while on the other, the dawn is announced by a muezzin’s singing. The diversity can also be noticed in clothing – women wear hijabs. (...) Finally, the languages of the heroes clash – Othello and Desdemona address each other affectionately using the Arabic ‘habibi’ whereas Othello mixes languages in the climax scenes, accentuating his alienation (...).” The director is interested in the Shakespeare’s drama predominantly from the perspective of the clash of Eastern and Western cultures, the world of men and women and the contrast between imagination or ideas and reality.
Paweł Szkotak is a theatre director and clinical psychologist. In 1988 he founded Teatr Biuro Podróży which he directed until 2003. Since then he has been Managing and Artistic Director of Teatr Polski in Poznań whilst continuing collaboration with his original company considered one of the major alternative theatres in Poland. Just its name (Eng. ‘the Travel Agent’s Theatre’) implies a journey and the company do, indeed, take audiences on journeys both real and metaphoric – expeditions into the world of imagination and creativity which is as fragile and volatile as theatre itself. Paweł Szkotak finds inspiration for his works in visual arts (painting and sculpture) as well as in political and social issues.
Direction: Paweł Szkotak
Translation: Stanisław Barańczak
Scenography, costumes: Agnieszka Zawadowska
Music: Krzysztof Nowikow
Lighting design: Magdalena Górfińska
Stage movement: Natalia Draganik
Assistant director: Paweł Siwiak
Stage manager: Maria Skowrońska-Ferlak
Performed by: Piotr Borowski, Wojciech Kalwat, Piotr B. Dąbrowski, Michał Kaleta, Andrzej Szubski, Wiesław Zanowicz, Jakub Papuga, Piotr Kaźmierczak, Paweł Siwiak, Barbara Prokopowicz, Barbara Krasińska, Dorota Kuduk, Mariusz Adamski, Anna Sandwicz, Miriam Fiuczyńska