14 May 2009

This content is tagged as Theatre .


Shakespeare as you have never seen it before


You’ve never seen Shakespeare like this before!

Othello Polynesia, a new take on the classic by the Black Friars is coming to Downstage in June.

This tragic tale of revenge, betrayal, jealousy and love comes alive in modern-day Polynesia.

With backing from Creative New Zealand, true to the original script and created in consultation with Oxford Shakespearean editor Professor Michael Neill, this play portrays Othello as the only palangi character in a brown society.Driven by the cunning manipulations of the malignant Iago, Othello Polynesia is a fast-paced, heartbreaking drama performed by one of New Zealand’s newest Polynesian theatre groups.

“We see Othello Polynesia as our own story, it’s about identity and brotherhood and these things are still just as relevant today as they were 400 years ago. We look forward to sharing it with a new audience in Wellington.” says Black Friars Director Michelle Johansson. The Black Friars have made several changes to the show since its Auckland debut. Michelle: “The show is now 100 minutes long and it contains a lot more Polynesian cultural influences, including music, dance and drums.

The Black Friars are a group of first-generation New Zealand born Pacific Islanders striving in their own personal quests for identity.They achieved awards in 2007 for the ‘Best Festival Newcomers’ in the New Zealand International Comedy Festival and gained an honourable mention in the North and South Magazine ‘New Zealander of the Year’.In Othello Polynesia, the company strives to bring Shakespeare to young people because the fundamental human truths portrayed in his plays still have relevance for today’s audience.

There will also be a special guest for the opening night; Patrick Spotiswood, Director of Education at the Globe, London, who is in New Zealand as part of the NZ09 Totally Shakespeare Compleate Works programme.

Othello Polynesia is coming to Downstage Theatre for a strictly limited week long season from Tuesday 2 June till Saturday 6 June, starting at 8pm each night. Prices for the show range from $20 for students to $25 for a full price ticket. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at (04) 801 6946 or in person at Downstage’s box office. For up-to-date information, prices and bookings visit www.downstage.co.nz. Downstage is proudly sponsored by BNZ.


For further information on Othello Polynesia and interview requests please contact: Downstage Theatre, Marketing, phone: (04) 802 6392, email: marketing@downstage.co.nz

Further media resources are available to download at www.downstage.co.nz/media