This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Superpowers, a scintillating wit, and the best body money can buy... and I still rate below a corpse."
11978 members | you are not logged in | 17 January 2019


January 15 2008

Our favorite operative is quite the Moor. The New Yorker raves about Chiwetel Ejiofor's "majestic" performance as Othello on the London stage: "(he) brings to the character a natural nobility and a decency that are a kind of poetic revelation." And that's for starters.

The production is sold out, and tickets, when available, have been going for $1,500.

[ edited by Chris inVirginia on 2008-01-16 14:09 ]

If I remember correctly (and our friends in England feel free to challenge my memory), the Donmar is a small, rather intimate theatre, so it would not take much to sell it out. But this sounds like a fantastic production, so I can understand affluent people paying such prices for a ticket. CE has had such a brilliant career since Serenity, and I'm delighted to see him get this kind of acclaim. He is a powerful and gifted actor.
Yes, a smallish (250 seats) theater, but the run began on November 30 and ends February 23.


I saw James Earl Jones and Christopher Plummer in the main roles in DC in 1981...this sounds like it might be as good a production or even better.

CE is an astounding actor.
Oh, man, I could see how he would do a pretty amazing Othello. He's got a lot of natural gravitas.
I love this man in anything he does. He killed me in Tsunami the Aftermath.
Not to be that guy, but I've just come from seeing the show. Chewitel is (what a shock) extraordinary -- the best I've seen, and I've seen plenty, including James Earl. The whole production is lovely, tight and heartbreaking, and the theatre is tiny. Seriously. I think the cast could take the audience in a fight (Well, they did have swords). Magical. Is there nothing this man can't do, besides kill River Tam?
I can also imagine Chewitel Ejiofor being able to scare the living crap out of an audience, so that must come in handy, too, for this part...

I'm not jealous... um, much either about seeing this play or the London visit - 'cause we're going there in May, and we're gonna see a play in an old brewery/film studio/banana-ripening depot, too.

*secretly grinds and gnashes teeth in blinding fit of envy...*

Enjoy everything for all of us...
Okay, Joss, you ARE that guy, that guy I hate, and envy and otherwise am livid about because you got to see James Earl Jones AND CE in epic productions of Othello!

Seriously, I so wish I could see this...I'm just betting that the "prove my love a whore" bit is utterly devastating.

This guy will be a major force for a long time.
It's been a great year for Chewitel...first, his performance in "American Gangster", and now this. Let's hope someone has the sense to tape the performance so that we can see it on DVD...or hope he can show what he can do on a bigger stage.
And Joss, thanks for the review.
I have to throw some love to Kinky Boots. I found Mr. Ejiofor every bit as good in that as he is in...well... everything; it's one that I don't think a lot of people have seen. In it, he delivers an absolutely fabulous speech about the color red. For those of you who cannot get to London and afford a very expensive scalped ticket, check that one out.

Oh, it's also way less sad than Othello, which is a bonus for many of us.
Thanks, Joss, for the review. I'm glad CE's performance was every bit as great as the New Yorker said. *green with envy*
More love for "Kinky Boots" here. I saw it after "Serenity" and I think Chiwetel Ejiofor has to be one of the most versatile actors in films. Actually, I'd probably think that just from seeing "Kinky Boots," as Ejiofor has three different aspects to his character: shy Simon, brash Lola, and performing Lola. Chiwetel Ejiofor in drag singing "I love to boogie-woogie" makes one believe in *something,* to paraphrase Book. I wish I could get to London to see Mr. Ejiofor's Othello, but since evidently I wouldn't be able to get into the theatre anyway, the sense of deprivation is somewhat lessened.

I concur with Raggedy Edge -- "Kinky Boots" is highly recommended from this quarter.
Chewie is an acting god. If there's any justice in the entertainment industry,* he'll be a megastar in a few years.

* Drat. [hangs head in sorrow]
Indeed. i went to see kinky boots purely because CE was in it, and was not disappointed in the least. and not just because i was given free tickets. i went back and paid to see it again to take others to see its beautiful message. no one ive takent o see it, or shown the dvd has been disappointed by the movie or CE's part in it.
Not to be that guy, but I've just come from seeing the show.

Hope you're having fun in London.
OK, this may get me nailed for going off topic, but there was a rumour that you were spotted at the BBC yesterday Mr Whedon, Ripper, care to comment...?
Oh Joss I'm so jealous!

My girlfriend and I tried to pre-book tickets, but the run was sold out long before it began. (Ewan McGregor as Iago, as well as Chewitel as Othello, might have had something to do with that!) They are selling 10 seats at the box office each day though, so we thought we'd go down to London (from York)and try our luck that way. We asked at the theatre and the queue for those tickets (which go on sale at 10.30am) reputedly begins between 2am and 5am each day. Sadly in snowy early January there was no way my asthmatic chest was going to cope with that. And £1200 a ticket each over the internet just wasn't an option. Still we went to Avenue Q instead and that was great!

[ edited by ArielWillow on 2008-01-16 20:24 ]
CiV, not wanting to pick nits but in english is "poetic relevation" related to 'poetic revelation' ?

Seconds on the, is Joss doing anything interesting in London apart from watching theatre question, but then curiosity can be a dangerous thing.

[ edited by jpr on 2008-01-16 11:41 ]
Can't afford what the touts are charging in a million years, pity because Chiwetel Ejiofor is a fantastic actor and it'd be interesting to see the lad MacGregor try to tackle something significantly different than most of the rest of his characters.

I didn't think too much of 'Kinky Boots' as a film, harmless enough but pretty standard "plucky small town folk " fare. CE, however, was brilliant in it, as he has been in everything i've seen him in where his part has enough to it to get his teeth into (thought he was a bit wasted in 'American Gangster' for instance).

(and hey Joss, welcome to dear old. If you're stuck for something to do BTW, a friend was very impressed by the Tutankhamen exhibition at the Millennium Dome. And sorry about the weather, it's not always like this, sometimes it's really rainy ;)
jpr, a bad transcription I plead to, yes!

Should have done the old cut and paste, d'oh!
I was very, very lucky to get tickets for this - it took a lot of forward planning, as well as joining the Donmar as a supporter (for an annual fee) to gain access to the presale. But it was definitely worth it. CE was astounding, and we walked away from the theatre dumbstruck.

Ewan McGregor doesn't disappoint either - which was great, as he'd been getting some dodgy reviews. Glad to hear that excellent reviews of Chiwetel's performance are spreading far and wide - he's the best stage actor I've ever seen.
Sure, rub it in. I've been dying to see this since I first heard about it, but there's just no way I'm going to get over there anytime soon. Anyone happen to sneak in camcorder? ;)
I just came onto this topic to say 'I bet £10 Joss goes and sees this'.

I am, as always, late.
As of today I've still got an extra ticket for the February 12th and February 14th performances. It was a circus show just trying to get tickets but I have to admit that I was tempted to sell mine. £1,200?!?!

Seriously though, after sitting in the dark in Minneapolis at 3am, trying not to wake my kids as I yelled at a poor telemarketer in India because my calling card wouldn't work and then sitting on hold with Donmar for nearly an hour, I can't imagine parting with them. So even though the friend who was supposed to backpack through Europe with me cancelled, I'll still be traveling to London just for this.

There is a small chance that another friend will end up meeting me in London and using the tickets, but if not I'd much rather see the extras go to a Whedonesquer than to just give them away to total strangers.
By the way, those of you in New York, do yourselves a favour and watch Patrick Stewart in Macbeth. A pleasure from beginning to end. Patrick Stewart speaking Shakespearian English is as joyful and natural as Michael Jordon bouncing an orange ball.
Thanks for the review, Joss!

And if anyone's going to be "that guy," it should probably be you, since you'll probably get the most out of it.

[ edited by Pointy on 2008-01-16 18:52 ]
"There is a small chance that another friend will end up meeting me in London and using the tickets, but if not I'd much rather see the extras go to a Whedonesquer than to just give them away to total strangers". deadbessie

If your friend can't meet you I'd be interested in the ticket for 14th February (for my girlfriend). I'll update my profile with my email address. [Mods - sorry if I'm doing anything wrong by saying this here.]
ArielWillow, just sent you an email.
And I just replied!
I have chills just reading about the acting; I cannot imagine seeing this in person, at such an intimate venue. I'm imagining one of those rare moments when you get so caught up in a live performance that it feels like it's happening inside your chest - to YOU - and it's almost too much to bear. /shudder. I LOVE those and am supremely jealous of those among you who are in the lucky on this one.
This pushes me to check to see if any good tickets are left for anything in London when I go at the beginning of April. Any recommendations?
From the Jan. 20, 2008, New York Times:
"Mr. Ejiofor takes us to a realm we too rarely visit at the theater: the innermost recesses of the human heart, in this case a heart torn apart by despair and rage. . . . Handsome and charismatic, he strides the stage with an easy majesty and his voice has a lustrous, mellow beauty. But his Othello is human scale, quick with a warm laugh at his own expense, and of a tenderness that rends the heart. As his anguish slowly, inexorably accumulates — you can almost watch Othello’s dark suspicions forming moment by moment as Iago’s poison works its vile magic — his suffering all but pins you to the back of your seat."

They don't include "Serenity" in his screen credits, but they do include "Children of Men," in which he was not (if memory and IMDB serve).* Take it as a "Josh"-style shoutout.

*They didn't. What's the emoticon for mock surprise?
Sorry, Josh.

[ edited by Pointy on 2008-01-20 21:29 ]
He was in 'Children of Men' Pointy, does IMDB claim otherwise ? He plays the resistance guy that becomes leader after the first car chase/shoot-out/fab "oner".
Heh, happens to the best of us Pointy (as it turns out ;).

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home