The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
May 20, 21, 22, 23 & 24, 1975.
by William Shakespeare
Nikki Le Roy
Brian Moulton – Othello, a Moor, General in the Venetian Army
Hilary Wiltshire – Desdemona, his wife
Roger Stott – Cassio, his Lieutenant
Neil Shephard – Iago, his Ancient [or ‘ensign’ web ed]
Valerie Bingham – Emilia, wife of Iago
Monica Joyce – Bianca, mistress of Cassio
Peter Joyce – Roderigo, in love with Desdemona
Keith Denyer – The Duke of Venice
Bill Mack – Brabantio, a Venetian Senator, father of Desdemona
Keith Denyer – Gratiano, his brother
Bill Mack – Lodovico, his kinsman
Ricky Coussins – Montano, Governor of Cyprus
Peter Murrell – Gentleman and Officers of Cyprus
Peter Harrison – Gentleman and Officers of Cyprus
Ralph Dawes – Gentleman and Officers of Cyprus
Alan Mishkin – Gentleman and Officers of Cyprus
Nikki Le Roy – A Clown
Nikki Le Roy – A Herald
Suzanne Brocken – Lady of Cyprus
Jane Eggleston – Lady of Cyprus
Colinette Craig – Lady of Cyprus
Shidah Mohammed-Zadeh – Lady of Cyprus
Producer – Jean Porter
Stage Manager – Paul Vrettos
Assistant Stage Manager – Di Parrish
Assistant Stage Manager – Jean Porter
Assistant Stage Manager – Ethel Barrs
Set Design – Richard Porter
Set Construction – Alan Upton
Costumes – Nikki Le Roy
Lighting – Frank Hurrell
Sound Plot – Roger Stott
Sound – Jane Eggleston
Properties – Margaret Davy
Lanterns & Special Properties, Designed & Made – Bess Blagden
Programme Note #1: Othello
NLeR wrote: “It has often been said that Shakespeare’s play Othello is misnamed and that it should have been called ‘Iago’. I personally do not agree with this: I believe that the play is most decidedly about the Moor of Venice and that Iago is merely a part of him. Othello is greatly respected by the society in which he lives, loved husband by a beautiful young girl and everything seems to be going for him, except one thing – he is different, his skin is black, and this gives him a sense of insecurity which breeds suspicion and jealousy. A man capable of great love is also capable of great hate. Othello is the noble man of courage and love,. Iago is the insecure, suspicious, hating side of him. Because he is different he cannot accept face values, there must be a catch somewhere and he must be HONEST and search for the snags. [“honest Iago ..” “..Iago is most honest..” echoes through the play.]. Gradually the dark side takes over and eventually destroys the noble and great of heart.
The plot is simple, the matter deep, profound and moving – as is usual with the Bard, too deep and profound to be digested at one sitting but like a full symphony, the familiar passages bring joy and the unfamiliar a thirst for deeper acquaintance.”
Programme Note #2: Othello
“As we come to the close of another season we would like to thank our loyal audiences once again for their loyal support. Our tentative plans for next season are as follows: Girl in my Soup, When We Are Married, Death of a Salesman and My Fair Lady. Out festival play, Monica Joyce’s Antigone, won all the awards at the Southwick Festival and now goes to Henley on June 6.”
Publicity #1: Othello
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: May 16 issue – page 2 – publicity piece – Frank Horsley
Text Header: “WICK’S FIRST SHAKESPEARE”
WICK THEATRE COMPANY, enjoying a highly successful 26th season, tackles its first-ever Shakespeare play next week, when its members present Othello.
Shakespeare fans of the immortal Bard will be able to see how the cast fare with his language from Tuesday to Saturday inclusive at the Barn Theatre, Southwick. “It’s going to be a very good production,” promised Wick chairman and publicity officer Roger Stott, who did a degree in English at Cambridge University. “We thought Othello was a good choice because, of the major tragedies, it is the simplest. Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear all have their intricate sub-plots, but everything goes along on the main level in Othello. “We have been doing four plays a year since 1948, but it wasn’t until the end of last season that we took the plunge, when we were planning this season’s programme, to present Shakespeare.” Roger added that director Nicky Le Roy (sic) had been particularly keen to stage Othello, and said the production would be very traditional.
Roger takes a leading part as Cassio, Brian Moulton is Othello, Hilary Wiltshire plays Desdemona, and Neil Shepherd is Iago. Valerie Bingham appears as Emilia, while brother and sister Peter and Monica Joyce take the respective rôles of Roderigo and Bianca.
Wick’s last but one major production, The Lark by Jean Anouilh, came first in the Brighton drama festival, with Monica Joyce [Joan of Arc] and Douglas Tucker [the Inquisitor] carrying off awards. More recently the company won Southwick Community Association’s drama festival for the second year running.
Each performance of Othello begins at 7.45 p.m., tickets costing 45p and 30p. The box office telephone number is Shoreham 5157.
Review #1: Othello
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: May 12 issue – page 12
Reviewer: Frank Horsley
Text Header: “This Iago will freeze you”
Wick Theatre Company trod new ground on Tuesday with the opening of its first Shakespeare production, Othello, but the whole cast took the powerful tragedy in its stride. Confident from the successes at the Southwick Community Association and Brighton drama festivals, the Wick players deal admirably with the Bard’s language.
Brian Moulton has everything going for him as Othello, the coloured Venetian general driven to kill his wife Desdemona by the insinuating Iago. He has the ideal build, the dark-brown voice, and the dignified posture. When it comes to the jealousy scenes he ably brings out Othello’s demise into a beats-like man eaten up with passion, and does not fall into the common trap of ‘sawing the air’ too much with his arms. Hilary Wiltshire shows all the delicacy of feeling expected of Desdemona, and Roger Stott comes across well as Cassio, Othello’s lieutenant whose fatal flaw is his frankness. But the most fascinating portrayal is that of Iago by Neil Shephard, who handles the soliloquies superbly and freezes the audience [what a pity it wasn’t larger on Tuesday] with his wicked, icy stare.
Monica Joyce is in ebullient form as Cassio’s mistress, Bianca, while Valerie Bingham impressed as Iago’s earthy wife Emilia. The other main character, the foppish Roderigo, is well played by Peter Joyce. Director Nikki Le Roy does his Alfred Hitchcock bit with cameo appearances as a clown and a herald.
The only parts of the play not to ring true are Othello’s return from the war, which lacks grandiosity on the small stage, and the bedroom scene just before he murders Desdemona. His famous ‘it is the cause’ speech is marred by the introduction of string music which adds nothing to the scene and elbows the words into a supporting rôle. But these are minor points in Wick’s highly commendable first attempt at Shakespeare.
Othello produced by Jean Porter, continues at the Barn Theatre, Southwick, today [Friday] and tomorrow. Both performances start at 7.45 p.m.
Review #2: Othello
Publication: Brighton & Hove Gazette
Publication Data: Unknown
Reviewer: Walter Hix
Text Header: “Wick burn brightly with a fine Othello”
The Wick Theatre Company certainly ended their 26th season in a blaze of glory. Their production last week of Othello was truly fine in its acting, direction, setting and costumes.
Brian Moulton, who has steadily increased in dramatic stature since his first major rôle some years ago, in George Porter’s production of Anna Christie, reached great heights as the Moor. Technically brilliant, and with great power, he plumbed the depths of the great man’s torment. As the scheming Iago, Neil Shephard was less overtly crafty, with less whispering in the ear than is often done and the characterisation was thereby greatly enhanced, his much vaulted “honesty” being made creditable. This, in its way, was as fine a performance as the more towering Othello.
Hilary Wiltshire brought to Desdemona a quality of Dresden delicacy; her beauty and the quality of her acting made her as near perfection as can be achieved with a complete and satisfying absence of histrionics. Roger Stott was completely the forthright Cassio, honourable in his dealings.
With perhaps the exception of Bill Mack as Desdemona’s father Brabantio, who seemed rather more waspish than authoritative, the lesser rôles were well played; Monica Joyce as Cassio’s mistress Bianca, Valerie Bingham, as Iago’s wife, Emilia, Peter Joyce as Roderigo, and especially Ricky Coussins as Montano, Governor of Cyprus. Other parts were played by Keith Denyer, Peter Murrell, Peter Harrison, Ralph Dawes, Alan Mishkin, Nikki Le Roy, Suzanne Brocken, Jane Eggleston, Colinette Craig and Shidah Mohammed-Zadeh.
A splendid setting was designed by the talented Richard Porter and built by a team led by Alan Upton. Direction was by Nikki Le Roy, production by Jean Porter and costumes by Nikki Le Roy were all first rate. The whole thing was a fine experience.