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Seals Players to stage local interpretation of "Othello"

Seals Players Foundation, one of the longest-standing classical theatre companies in Hong Kong, will perform Shakespeare's tragedy ˇ§Othelloˇ¨ from January 18-20, 2008, at the Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

The play is directed by Dr Vicki Ooi and translated by Professor Jane Lai. Leading the cast are John Chung, Raphael Che (evening shows), Mac Tu (matinees), Lynn Yau, Selina Kan, Eddie Shee and Yu Sai-tang.

Director Vicki Ooi explained that the premise of the play rested on the dual emphasis ofˇ§loveˇ¨ andˇ§faithˇ¨, that one without the other was a formula for tragedy. The play seeks to maintain the flavour of Shakespearean verse and core elements in the original while delivering an interpretation that provides food for thought. Renowned choreographer Yuri Ng and music and sound designer Ben Robinson have been invited to choreograph and compose music for the performance respectively.

The plot centres on Venetian lady Desdemona who defies her father, Brabantio, to marry Othello, the brave Moorish general. Othello's lieutenant, Iago, however, is furious that Othello's right-hand man, Cassio, has been promoted above him and determines to seek revenge. Iago wants to destroy Othello by implying that Desdemona is having an affair with Cassio.

Later, Othello is ordered to defend Cyprus and Desdemona, Cassio, Iago and his wife Emilia sail there. Iago sets a trap that causes Othello to dismiss Cassio. Iago then arranges for Desdemona's handkerchief to be in Cassio's possession as the evidence of infidelity. Othello dies, having loved too well but not too wisely, bringing the play to a tragic denouement.

The production contains adult content and will be performed in Cantonese with English surtitles.

Seals Players Foundation was established in 1979 by a group of drama enthusiasts and after a decadeˇ¦s hiatus, it was revived in 2006 with a sell-out production of Chekovˇ¦s ˇ§Three Sistersˇ¨. Past productions are mainly plays in translation, includingˇ§King Learˇ¨, ˇ§The Odd Coupleˇ¨, ˇ§Stockerlock and Millipilliˇ¨, ˇ§The Fantasticksˇ¨,ˇ§Rashomonˇ¨ and ˇ§A Bucket of Waterˇ¨. Seals have produced more than 60 productions since 1979.

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, ˇ§Othelloˇ¨ will be staged at 7.45pm on January 18-20 (Friday to Sunday); and at 2.15pm on January 19 and 20 (Saturday and Sunday). Tickets priced at $120 and $180 are now available at URBTIX outlets. Senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients are entitled to 50% off (limited quotas for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues. Group booking discounts are available. Please check the programme leaflet for details.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7323 (LCSD) or 2520 1716 (Seals Players Foundations); for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009; for credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999; for Internet bookings, visit http://www.urbtix.hk ; for more information, visit http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp .

Ends/Monday, December 10, 2007

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