Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Race-ing with the Times: Theatrical Exigency and Performative Politics in Trevor Nunn’s Othello (1989)

Susan L. Fischer



An almost beat-by-beat re-viewing and re-reading of the temptation scene in Trevor Nunn’s 1989 National Theatre production of Othello registered a need to query whether the director’s decision to cast a (black) opera singer rather than a (Shakespearean) actor in the demanding role of Othello had been misguided. This view presupposes that theatrical exigency – the development of a dramatic action and on-stage situation – would be highlighted over the contingency of performative politics, however vital contemporary attention to cultural matters of “inauthenticity” and “political correctness” may be regarded.


Shakespeare, William; Theatre; Othello; Nunn, Trevor


Copyright (c) 2012 Susan L. Fischer

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