Othello the Remix

GQ and JQ, After William Shakespeare

Pleasance Courtyard

From 01 August 2012 to 27 August 2012

Rating: *****

Review by Philip Fisher

Shakespeare goes hiphop should so not work. However, in the hands of this talented crew from Chicago, it really does.

The team that put together Bombitty of Errors now takes on Othello and hardly puts a dancing foot wrong through a breezy 1¼ hours.

The original plot is overlaid on a story of rappers on the road, cleverly using that Shakespearean staple, the rhyming couplet, to great comic effect.

Amir Abdullah plays a tall, poetic Moor who gets jealous over his wife, a disembodied Desdemona with a sensational soul voice.

His fears are fuelled by GQ‘s Iago, a mean dude who enjoys nothing more than stirring up trouble. He does this with a vengeance, getting Jackson (Jax) Doran’s Cassio kicked out of the crew with assistance from JQ as Roderigo and eventually causing murder and mayhem with more bodies even than the traditional version.

This production relies on DJ Clayton Stamper’s regular rhythms to complement some excellent dancing and cool rapping which relates the tale with surprising wit and economy.

When all of these ingredients are combined, the result is one of the coolest shows on the Fringe and one that should ultimately be heading for the West End, such is its quality and youth appeal.