Curtains up on Othello


~ Stafford festival Shakespeare opens June 23 ~

The finishing touches are being put on this year’s Stafford Festival Shakespeare (SFS) production of Othello, which opens at Stafford Castle this Thursday, June 23 – Saturday, July 9.

Renowned as one of The Bard’s finest tragedies, Othello will be performed for the very first time at SFS later this month and will feature a brand new creative team – headed by acclaimed director, Clare Prenton, with production design from BAFTA Scotland nominated Francis Collier. One face who will be familiar to local audiences, however, is Musical Director for SFS 2016, Craig Adams, who has been part of the last five Rock ‘n’ Roll pantos at Stafford Gatehouse Theatre.

Set at the height of the rock ‘n’ roll era in 1956, the play will transport audiences to the foreign shores of Italy and Cyprus, during the infamous British military occupation of the Greek island.

This year’s production is set to be the boldest ever, as SFS Producer and Artistic Programme Manager at Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, Derrick Gask, explains:

“Othello is a powerful play that will really give audiences something to get their teeth in to. Over the last few years we have produced several Shakespearean comedies that went down a storm. However, I wanted to bring something new and invigorating for SFS 2016, and this dark tragedy fits the bill perfectly.

We have an excellent cast and a brand new, award winning creative team to boot! Tickets are proving very popular indeed and I can’t wait for opening night this Thursday.”

The title character of Othello will be played by Oliver Wilson, with Niall Costigan and Madeleine Leslay taking on the two other lead roles of Iago and Desdemona respectively. The production will also see the return of TJ Holmes, who played Dame Dolly Dumplings in last year’s Jack and the Beanstalk Rock ‘n’ Roll panto at Stafford Gatehouse Theatre.

Also set to perform are Molly Gromadzki as Bianca, Nathan Turner as Montano, Recce Richardson as Lodovico, James Lawrence as Casio, Hester Arden as Emilia, Howard Chadwick as Brabantio, George Johnston as Roderigo, Katy Sobey as Brabantio’s maid and Singer, Jamie Noar as the Duke of Venice and Tomas Wolstenholme as Gratiano.

There will be a range of catering options available for SFS 2016. These are available to pre-order and include a picnic for two, Becky’s Gourmet Grill and a pre-performance dining menu prepared by Sugnall Walled Gardens. The pre-performance dining menu can be booked at

Othello opens on Thursday 23rd June and runs until Saturday 9th July 2016. Tickets can be booked by calling the box office on 01785 619080 or by visiting