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Lee Passarella
Audiophile Audition, February 2017

As Othello, Hugh Quarshie has the commanding presence and dignity that are hallmarks of the best Othellos. His descent into jealous rage and finally tortured remorse is well modulated, perhaps a trifle understated but a believable trajectory of grief.

Among the other players, James Corrigan’s Roderigo is the perfect fool, while Jacob Fortune-Lloyd seems a bit callow as Michael Cassio. However, Joanna Vanderham is a fine actress who captures Desdemona’s forthright goodness well and certainly looks the part—tall, blonde, fair-featured, she’s the perfect foil to Msamati’s devilish Iago. Even better is Ayesha Dharker as Emilia, whose amicable demeanor with Desdemona and ironic treatment of her difficult husband are capped by passionate grieving for her dead mistress. Dharker is compelling throughout.

This is a memorable Othello that will repay repeated viewing! © 2017 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Kevin Filipski
The Flip Side, September 2016

For the latest Royal Shakespeare Company production of the Bard’s simmering drama, director Iqbal Khan’s idea is to cast both Iago and Othello with black actors—Lucian Msamati and Hugh Quarshie, respectively—to make secondary the racial component of their adversarial relationship, even though it remains in Shakespeare’s text. With lesser actors, it might not work, but both Msamati and Quarshie hit the play’s high points—and Joanna Vanderham is a heartbreaking Desdemona—so the conceit gets a fine dramatic workout. © 2016 The Flip Side Read complete review

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