Hello, the Hell - Othello Fringe 2023_248hi-res(1)

Fringe Review: Hello, the Hell: Othello

Megan Amato reviews Hello, the Hell: Othello at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

BARDOLATORS may be horrified to hear that I was never a huge fan of Shakespear’s works – comedies nor tragedies. Despite this, I have seen and read an extraordinary number of retellings as they often bring fresh and creative twist.

In Creative Jakhwa’s Hello, the Hell: Othello reimagining, we meet Othello and Iago in hell. The former has been reliving the moment he killed his wife, Desdemona, repeatedly for millions of years, trying to change the outcome while the treacherous Iago continues to taunt him to do the opposite.

Immediately, the dark and dreary set pulls me in the sinister dreamscape they’ve created. The contrast of the warm red and cool blue lighting is somehow unsettling as my eyes are drawn to the wooden cage-like structure centred at the back of the stage.

Each of the actors’ performances were memorising. From their first moments on stage as those ill-fated characters, the audience were immediately attuned to their every movement and breath.

Sangeun Lee as Desmedona was ethereal. She did an amazing job adjusting to the mood of every scene, from her sweet nativity before her death to her desolation as she repeatedly dies at her husband’s hands, I felt her every emotion. Jeonghoo Lee as Iago was wonderfully sinister and manic, his glee at Othello’s repeated fate apparent even after spending millions of years in the same hell.

The star of the show was Seongjae Ko who played Othello. His acting was so believable and tangible that I swear I could hear the pulse in my ears change with each shift of his repetitive emotional journey on stage. No matter how many times he went through the same hell, the actor’s range was on show through the agony in his eyes, the pain wrought on his face and every tense muscle in his body. Phenomenal.

This is an emotionally raw piece of physical theatre, both eerie and devastatingly beautiful with subtle moments of comic relief, gorgeously choreography and phenomenal acting. My favourite production of the Fringe so far.


Hello, the Hell: Othello is on at the Assembly BallRoom from the 15 to 27 August at 13:40 – find out more at https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/hello-the-hell-othello

Read more reviews on Scottish Field’s Fringe pages.

Plus, don’t miss the September issue of Scottish Field magazine.