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By Anita Senaratna
January 20, 2014
By Anita Senaratna
January 20, 2014

If Shakespeare had lived in the 21st century, there's a good chance he would have been a rapper. Not only was he a master of rhymes, but he had dissing down to a fine art, with gems like "I'll beat thee, but I should infect my hands" (Timon of Athens) and "Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood" (King Lear).

Chicago-based theatre company The Q Brothers' are all about creating 'ad-RAP-tations' of Shakespeare plays. In their latest offering, Othello: The Remix, MC Othello is a rapper turned music mogul engaged to singer Desdemona — sort of a Shakespearean Jay-Z and Beyonce. After Othello releases up-and-coming MC Casio's latest album on his label, the jealous, Eminem-esque rapper Iago decides he has a beef with Othello because and manipulation, betrayal and murder ensues.

The show premiered in Chicago last July, and has since been taken to the UK and South Korea, even winning a Jeff Award for Best Ensemble.

Image by Michael Brosilow.


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