Man hugs woman on stage


William Shakespeare

Othello was written around 1604 and follows the story of the Moor through love, jealousy and deceit.

Past productions

The first actor to play the title role in Othello was Richard Burbage, who along with William Shakespeare, was a leading member of the King’s Men theatre company. After the Restoration and the re-opening of the theatres, Margaret Hughes became the first recorded woman to perform on the English stage, when she played Desdemona on 8 December 1660.

Not until the 1830s did a black actor play the title role when Ira Aldridge toured Europe to great acclaim. Nearly 100 years later, the black singer, activist and actor Paul Robeson was a memorable Othello, a role he repeated at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1959.