The opening night of The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s play Othello, which stars Pakistani-American Hollywood actor Faran Tahir in the lead, took place at the Sidney Harman Hall (Washington DC) on 29th February’16. The reviews from American theatre critics are out and Faran’s performance in particular has left an indelible impression. The Washington Post had this to say:’On the steel floor of designer Riccardo Hernandez’s industrial, post-World War I set, Tahir performs an unsettlingly convincing rendition of Othello’s epileptic fit, shaking as if 10,000 volts are coursing through his body. It’s a wholesale collapse of Othello’s nervous system we are witnessing. The virile leader of armies, racked by suspicion, is made to feel powerfully the one sensation more devastating to him even than love: helplessness’.

The DC Metro Theatre Arts praised Faran by saying: ‘Tahir showcased an incredible transformation from powerful, proper General to the crazed man consumed with jealousy due to Iago’s accusations. I felt fear as I watched him seek his revenge, and Rebholz’s costuming reflected this change. As he became increasingly obsessed with his revenge, Rebholz slowly took away the military the gear, and replaced the costume with robes of dark red, like blood. Throughout the play Othello is accused of a wild nature due to his being a Moor, and the costuming helped highlight the idea that surrendering to these emotions caused Othello to live up to those fears’.