UK troupe to perform Shakespeare’s Othello in HCMC

A timeless English tale of love, jealousy, betrayal and murder is coming to Ho Chi Minh City in April with a unique and rare staging of Shakespeare's Othello by world-leading school, Wellington College.

A scene from Shakespeare’s Othello, set to be performed at HCMC’s Renaissance International School on April 6 by a troupe from the UK’s Wellington College (Photo: Vietnam-Britain Friendship Association)
Othello has remained virtually unchanged since it was written by William Shakespeare in around 1603, a measure of the play's enduring power as a study of human nature. The plot sees jealous Iago plotting revenge over the marriage of Desdemona, the woman he loves, to his rival Othello, a general in the army.

Iago convinces Othello, falsely, that Desdemona has betrayed him with Cassio, his faithful lieutenant, and Othello takes his revenge with deadly consequences, only to realize his tragic mistake as the play ends. 

The play is directed by Master of Wellington College Dr. Anthony Seldon, who is also one of Britain's most acclaimed political and historical authors having written and edited over 25 books including the standard biographical works on former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Young actors from Wellington College, one of England's most prestigious public schools, will perform a fresh, abridged version of the 400-year-old tragedy on April 6 at the city’s Renaissance International School.

It will be one of only a few times the play has been performed in Vietnam.

The 18-member troupe also includes several musicians who will provide musical accompaniment during the performance.

"Each of these talented young actors is a star in the making," said Dr. Seldon. "They bring an energy and passion to their performances which are extraordinary in ones so young. I have directed plays for over 30 years since my time at Oxford University and these pupils show ability and originality beyond their years.
 
"We are looking forward to bringing the genius of Shakespeare to Vietnam. His themes are intensely human, timeless and relevant in any culture. A performance of Othello in this style – in the round – has rarely, if ever, been performed in Ho Chi Minh City and it is an honor for us to represent our country's immortal bard."
 
The HCMC staging is part of an Asian tour by the group, who are also visiting Beijing, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

The two-hour performance will start at 7pm at the Renaissance International School (74 Nguyen Thi Thap St., Binh Thuan Ward, Dist. 7) on April 6. Free tickets can be collected by sending a request to: hiendang68@gmail.com.

Wellington College was founded in 1859 by Queen Victoria as a memorial to the Duke of Wellington, one of Britain's greatest military figures. The Duke defeated the French Emperor Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, one of Europe's most historic and significant battles, ending the Napoleonic wars that had raged for 12 years.

By Truong Son

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