NATIONAL THEATER LIVE from Britain, to celebrate their fiftieth year, has engaged in a goundbreaking project to broadcast the best of British theater live from the London stage to cinemas around the world.
Last night, at the Paradiso theater in Memphis, I enjoyed an amazing and brilliant production of Othello, the acting so pitch perfect it brought tears to my eyes, not just for the heartbreaking story, but for the sheer artistry of the production values in bringing this tale to life. When Shakespeare is delivered with every inflection, facial, and vocal nuance imbued with clarity, understanding, and subtlety, it is indeed an amazing craft.
One of my favorite quotes in all of Shakespeare, ironically delivered by Iago, the character whose very name is synonymous with deceit, is a beautiful statement of principle. Deception always contains elements of truth, but even evil in the heart of man cannot change a truth:
“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
’Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.”