Cassio played by Joanna Horton
Written by: William Shakespeare
Joanna trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Previous theatre includes: All’s Well that Ends Well, As you Like It, Days of Significance (RSC); Belongings (Hampstead Theatre/Trafalgar Studios); The Gods Weep (Hampstead Theatre), and The Cherry Orchard (Birmingham Rep).
Film includes: Fish Tank, The People Next Door, and The Listener.
Television includes: Dark Angel, The Suspicions of Mr Wicher, Endeavour, Father Brown, Excluded, New Tricks, Breaking the Mould, Robin Hood, Five Days, Eleventh Hour, Bike Squad, Midnight Man, Partners in Crime, and Silent Witness.
"Favourite moment onstage…I don’t know if I can say it! It might be too rude for this interview…okay! So a friend of ours came to see the show on Press Night..."
Joanna reflects on the four month run, full of lots of tears and triumphs and totally misheard lines!
"In our version, me and Bianca are left on stage and we destroy the bed that the two murders and suicide have taken place on. I think that moment speaks slightly different for everyone. Speaking to audiences that have come to see it, I think everyone takes something slightly different away..."
As the cast prepare to take their final bows, Joanna takes us through some spoiler-filled moment from this production.
"You can see the audience, which is weird at first but great, because you can use them in a really helpful way. In the scene where Cassio gets demoted and stripped of her armour, it’s useful to have so many eyes on you. It feeds into the humiliation and the very public shaming..."
As performances continue, Joanna talks about costumes and music in the production, and plays 'Kiss, Marry, Kill'!
"It’s frustrating when people assume that men speak in a certain way and women speak in a certain way. It would be really great to think that you could pick up a script, and if you didn’t know the sex of the characters, that anyone could read any of the parts and it really doesn’t matter. It’s just words."
Answering questions posed by some of our listeners, Joanna talks about performing in the SWP, the moments that never made it on to stage, and gender roles.
"Gender and misogyny for me are big players: being a woman in the army, trying to take on a role which she thinks she deserves and she's got through hard work and loyalty to Othello."
As opening night draws nearer, Joanna discusses performing in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, her previous experience with Shakespeare, and the themes at work in the play.
"We're playing Cassio as a woman as if it's been written for a women. It's not me trying to take on the role of a man. Inevitably because it was written for a man, you do come to certain points in the play where you're like, 'Oh okay, that doesn't make total sense. I've got to find my way round that little bit..."
Playing the traditionally male role of Cassio in Othello, Joanna talks about her experience with Shakespeare, relationships in the play, and what effect (if any) cross gender casting has on her interpretation of Cassio.