How great is it that Chiwetel Ejiofor pipped Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart for best actor at the Olivier awards? I can't speak for Sir Ian's King Lear - missed it - but I didn't get what all the fuss was about Stewart's MacBeth; admittedly, I did see it from the obstructed view seating in the back row of the Gielgud, but I'm sure the hammy howling wasn't that much better from the stalls.
Chewy's Othello, however, was genius - when Iago first puts the bug in his ear that Desdemona is cheating on him, you could see the jealousy virus physically spreading through his bloodstream... Every doubt, every no-no-it-couldn't-be, every but-could-it-be?, every no-I'm-not-jealous-at-all, every I'M-GOING-TO-KILL-HER was revealed in his face. I have never been so enthralled by a production of this play. In the final scenes, I was literally on the edge of my seat silently pleading with Othello not to kill Desdemona. (Belated spoiler alert.) Then, unexpectedly, I was in tears and they did not stop even during that stupid bit where Desdemona comes back to life for a couple of lines... Baby, you can drive my catharsis!
Ejiofor's was the kind of performance that you just talk and talk and talk about, but become increasingly frustrated that you can't capture properly in words. Totally deserving of this win.
Hey! Here are some of my reviews from The Globe and Mail: A Man of No Importance and, in a two-reviews-in-one review, As You Like It and Death of a Chief. That's 2.5 stars, 3 stars, and 1 star respectively if you're keeping score at home. I apologize for the entirely gratuitous, slightly nonsensical Killers reference... I was in day five of a six-show week. That's daily journalism!
On the other hand: As You Like It gets 2/5 in the Sun and 2/4 in the Star. (Headlines: We Don't Like It and As You Like It not Likeable, respectively.) Meanwhile, DOAC gets 4/5 in the Sun and 2/4 in the Star, and A Man of No Importance gets 3/4 in the Star and 3.5/5 in the Sun. Plus, the luckily starless Cushman on Democracy and, since I mentioned him up higher in this post, Patrick Stewart's Macbeth (now on in NY).