Edinburgh Festival Day 12: Hot Ticket

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The Independent Culture

The Acting Initiative do not simply cross-cast a woman as Othello. Their Othello is a woman, and her husband is Desdemona. This production can thus address women's issues as diverse as their capacity for passionate crime and their role in the military, without having to substantially revise Shakespeare's text. As the shes become hes and vice versa, it is the insubstantial character of Desdemona which is highlighted. Othello's wife is acceptable as a cosseted object; the hypocrisy is that, as Othello's husband, Desdemona's behaviour remains slight and unconvincing. In Othello, however, we find a rich woman's role, a combination of Hilary Clinton and Ruth Ellis. Actress Faith Edwards uses the intimacy of this promenade production to create a multi-dimensional Moor, a performance matched by Andrew McDonald's outstanding Iago. Roberta Mock

Calton Centre (venue 119), 121 Montgomery St (031-661 9121). 3.30pm to 28 Aug