Iago Speaks brings laughs to Saskatoon audiences

Saskatchewan playwright Dan Macdonald’s Iago Speaks, which made its World Premiere on Shakespeare on Saskatchewan, is perfect for people looking for some laughs.

This Sunday is the last chance to see Iago Speaks, a new play by Saskatoon playwright Daniel MacDonald, which had its world premiere this month at Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan.

The play follows Iago (Skye Brandon), the main antagonist in the Shakespeare tragedy Othello, to his prison cell after he is found responsible for the deaths of Desdemona and Emilia.

Since Iago vowed not to speak, his jailer (Joshua Beaudry) fills the silence for him. The jailer complains about how boring his existence is as a bit character in Othello, who comes in after the murders to arrest Iago. He’s missed all the action, and, worse, his life is like Groundhog Day in that he lives the same scenes from the play over and over again.

A scene from Iago speaks. In the foreground is Joshua Beaudry, who plays the jailer. Behind him is Skye Brandon who plays Iago.

Becoming aware of the audience, the jailer decides he can star in his own play that he will make up on the spot, dragging Iago into his antics.

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Iago Speaks is Macdonald ‘s version of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, a popular absurdist, existential tragicomedy by Tom Stoppard.

Both plays contain metatheatre – plays within plays and commentary about Shakespeare’s tragedies. They both break the fourth wall and allow the characters to speak to the audience directly.

While Macdonald’s play drags in places, it’s good for some laughs and is perfect for people looking for some light entertainment.

Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan’s new artistic director Kayvon Khoshkam told the audience at the Iago Speaks premiere on Aug. 6 that he hopes the theatre company will be able to showcase more original works in the future.

Khoshkam arrived in Saskatoon from Vancouver the day before to start his new role.

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