Othello isn't the most genteel of plays, but according to Associated Press (May 19), a version of Shakespeare's drama recently staged in Haifa, Israel, was so violent, several injuries ensued and performances have been suspended indefinitely.
AP reports the last straw was reached when lead actor Giuliano Mar slapped his Desdemona, Maya Maoz, one time too many. Mar told a local newspaper Maoz was too wimpy. "I slapped her as part of my role and she left the stage in the middle," he said. "Every other day she faints and then I am suspended."
Haifa Municipal Theatre is more apt to blame Mar for his "total immserion in his acting." After all, back in January, during a scene of Othello attacking his wife, Maoz was knocked out when her head bashed against an iron bed frame. Not that Mar, himself, hasn't suffered injury; he recently broke his hand during a swordfight in the show.
Haifa Municipal Theatre spokesperson Miri Kalfi told AP the future of both the production and its volatile star have yet to be decided.
-- By David Lefkowitz