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ORT Report: BOA These Violent Delights

This modernised Shakespearean tragedy will have you laughing, crying, and reflecting on the devastating crime that still prevails.

Birmingham Ormiston Academy’s production of Othello, performed by the year twelve acting students, was of the utmost entertainment.

The classic Shakespearean tragedy follows the protagonist, Othello, and antagonist, Iago.

The play is based upon Iago’s plot to destroy Othello’s life in a multitude of ways, but focusing upon ruining his marriage and relationship with his wife Desdemona. As an audience member, you’re transported to a place of violence and anticipation.

The play was made relevant and modernised by the incorporation of the struggle of knife crime within Birmingham. Not only was the tragedy set within the city, but the actors also wore 21st century costumes to further make the show current and engaging to the audience. Emotive poetry, expressing the consequences of knife crime began and ended the play, not only causing contemplation but also causing an important awakening for audience members.

To add to the modern take on the famous play, contemporary music was used throughout.

With the lyrics often reflecting the troubles experienced by the characters, empathy was created, causing audience members to feel even closer to characters.

The physical theatre and stage combat used was incredibly effective, realistic, and very shocking. Multiple large scale, energetic fight scenes were incorporated within the play, with extremely strong and impactful facial expressions to match. Scenes like these fully immersed the audience, and had us all on the edge of our seats, anticipating the outcome of the violence.

Despite the dark plot, and serious themes that are explored throughout, the talented cast did not fail to add moments of hilarity. The seamlessly-acted, light-hearted dialogue, added just the right amount of comedy, without taking away from the intention of the play.

Article by BOA Student Victoria, as part of our ORT Report scheme