June 17, 2021

“Othello” succumbs to “fake news” and a “toxic masculinity”



Madrid, May 13 (EFE) .- The director Marta Pazos presents an “Othello” in which Desdemona and the women around her take the leading role that in the original text is reserved for men, characters “trapped in a patriarchal society” , with attitudes that are replicated today, four hundred years later.

Through the work of William Shakespeare, Marta Pazos, director of the Voadora company, shows that, despite the time that has elapsed, the same thing happens in relationships and in society.

“The lack of communication, the social networks, the” fake news “(false news) move us away instead of bringing us closer,” says Marta Pazos in a conversation with Efe, who adds that with this version of “Othello” by Fernando Epelde, she does not intend judge the characters, “all are victims”.

“It is very possible that the telephone is someone’s Iago,” she says in reference to the character who with lies spreads an adultery that Desdemona never committed and that leads her to death at the hands of her husband, Othello. All with an eye on the hoaxes that are spread and how we let ourselves be carried away by them.

Post-truth and gender violence are the themes on which the show revolves, in addition to the isolation. “Isolation is easier to control, it impedes judgment and broad self-criticism of the system.”

“Desdemona is one of the most irreverent characters in Shakespeare, a milestone for an Elizabethan character.” Someone who in the beginning is a strong woman, who makes her own decisions, but who throughout the text becomes infantilized and succumbs to the hands of her husband, who lets himself be guided by what they tell him without having a conversation with her, without face the problem.

“That happens now in couples, we do not ask and distances are created,” asserts the director.

Pazos (Pontevedra, 1976) assures that in “Othello” the male characters are trapped by a question of status, which leads them to a “toxic masculinity”, a text in which it is evidenced, according to the playwright, that ” the construction of a free society does not interest the system. ”

A version in which the female characters – from its protagonist, Desdemona, to Emilia and Bianca – become main characters, even adopting the dialogues of the male ones, especially that of Othello, when he and Iago plot their death.

Protagonists who do not have “privileges” in the original text and in this version the “omnipresent voice of Desdemona becomes the echo of the men’s dialogues.

Dialogues in the key of comedy, through which “resounding truths” are said.

Despite what it seems, the story does not change, it simply “changes the perspective” to show that the acts are the product of “a patriarchal system that encourages Islamophobia and sexist violence.”

Shakespeare’s texts “have it all. It is a juicy material”, which intersperses binomials such as truth or lies, delicacy in the face of brute force, the public and the private. A text that he defines as “rich”, that transfers themes that are still in force and where the staging follows that logic.

The play, which will premiere on Saturday May 15 at the Teatro de La Abadía, where it will remain until June 6, 2021, stars Joaquín Abella, Ángel Burgos, Ana Esmith, Chumo Mata, Mari Paz Sayago and Hugo Torres.

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