RE-CASTING OTHELLO by Emma Northcott


As the lockdown is eased the drama group starts to plan the re-opening of their theatre. A comic Zoom meeting to prepare the theatre for the ‘new normal’.

It is towards the end of June and when further easing of the coronavirus lockdown is announced the drama group start planning the reopening of their theatre. An emergency video conferencing call is set up, at short notice, by Viv to accommodate Chair of the committee and wardrobe mistress, Brian and Celia, who deny that they are between illicit trips to their holiday cottage, insisting that they’re driving all the way to the coast and back in a single day for essential repairs to the roof. In light of the Black Lives Matter movement it is agreed that the all-white drama group should no-longer be attempting Othello and they set about recasting for Henry the Eighth instead. Leading actors David and Jean have fallen out and are no-longer willing to perform. Viv is cast as Catherine, Henry’s first wife, but is out of the room when her husband Tim is cast opposite his mistress Celia in the roles of Henry and Anne Boleyn. Sofia is so annoyed by Brian’s flirting with Celia that she steps out of the wardrobe to be cast as Jane Seymour, Henry’s true love.




Viv – host to all video conferencing meetings and accustomed to being in control

Penny – younger than Viv

George – a mild mannered man.

Brian – confident, well-spoken, arty type. Decision maker at the theatre, attracted to Celia.

Sofia – married to Brian, frightfully well-spoken, attracted to Tim.

Tim – a confident womaniser, except in the presence of his wife Viv.

Celia – wealthy and somewhat self-centred

Jean – a nervous woman, trying to avoid David

David – Jean’s ex-friend



This play needs to be viewed in ‘gallery view’ so that all screens are viewed simultaneously. At the start of the play all nine screens will be on, but black, with just the character names showing in each. As David and then Jean leave, they could actually exit the meeting so that their screen disappears as well. The same for the others as they exit the meeting at the end. It is best to remind your audience not to watch in ‘speaker view’ where the viewer would only see the actor who is speaking at the time, similar to a television close-up of a single speaker and therefore missing the visual comedy in the other screens. For this play to be performed, under lockdown, Brian and Sofia need to be living in the same house.



Please find an interview with Emma Northcott here –



Approx 15 minutes



Preview available here

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