by William Shakespeare
Directed by Léonie Simaga


23 April 1st June 2014



2014-04-23 00:00:00 2014-06-01 00:00:00

Now that he has defeated the Turks in the war with the Republic of Venice, Othello, although a Moor, is finally free to marry the beautiful Desdemona.

Nothing can undermine the happiness of this exceptional man, gifted with all virtues, nothing except the fierce hatred that his officer Iago secretly nurtures. The latter, taking advantage of Othello’s jealous and impetuous nature, devises a diabolical plot that will be lead Othello to believe that Desdemona is being unfaithful to him with Lieutenant Cassio. As a result of what he takes as the ultimate proof of his wife’s infidelity – a handkerchief in the hands of his supposed rival – Othello will commit the irreparable, before his terrible mistake is revealed to him. The only course of action that remains then is to kill himself over Desdemona’s body.

William Shakespeare, the author
William Shakespeare wrote Othello in 1604, basing his play on the tale by Giambattista Giraldi Cinthio Un Capitano Moro, published in 1565 in Italy. In 1603, after the coronation of King James I, Shakespeare troupe, at the peak of its career, became “The King’s Men”, the company of the new monarch and took up residence at the Globe, soon to be London’s most prestigious theatre. Written between Measure for Measure and King Lear, Othello is a work of the mature Shakespeare. Seven years after the premiere of the play, in 1611, Shakespeare retired to his property in Stratford-upon-Avon, his birthplace; he died in 1616 at the age of 52.

Léonie Simaga, the director
After postgraduate studies in literature and political science, Leonie Simagajoined the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art. In 2005, she entered the Comédie-Française, becoming its 520th member in 2010. Her performances include the title role in Kleist’s Penthesilea directed by Jean Liermier, Polly Peachum in Brecht’s Threepenny Opera directed by Laurent Pelly, Hermione in Racine’s Andromache directed by Muriel Mayette and Silvia in Marivaux’s Game of Love and Chance directed by Galin Stoev. At the Comédie-Française, she has directed Nathalie Sarraute’s For a Yes or For a No, and presented a carte blanche event based on Marguerite Yourcenar’s The Memoirs of Hadrian. Beyond the themes of jealousy and gullibility, she views Othello as a meditation on this unjustified and permanent hatred of a civilization for individuals condemned to fighting their entire lives to escape from the defamatory label of “negro”.

Creative team

Translation****: Norman Chaurette
Direction****: Léonie Simaga
Direction assistant****: Roxana Carrara
Sets****: Massimo Troncanetti
Lights: Elsa Revol
Costumes****: Léonie Simaga
Costumes assistant and props****: Delphine Sainte-Marie
Sound design****: Dominique Bataille
Fencing master and physical preparation****: Lohengrin Vilgard


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