Matinee. Founders Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, Massachusetts. Directed by Tina Packer, longtime artistic director. John Douglas Thompson as Othello
Thompson was quite wonderful as Othello; he is black, and his Jamaican accent was either his authentic one or so good that it didn’t matter if he grew up with it or not. The Iago, Michael Hammond, was no twenty-eight-year-old, as called for in the script, but much older — they had to change the arithmetic of the text’s reading “four times seven.” And the Desdemona, Merritt Janson, was rather lackluster, not really up to what is simultaneously a memorable and a thankless role. Still, it was a fine, bare-bones production, making me want to return to see the other Shakespeare on this season, All’s Well; alas, I missed it.