Monday, 21 January 2013

Belgrade Actress to star in National Theatre's Othello

Olivia Vinall performing in the Belgrade Theatre's adaptation of
William Inge’s The Dark at the Top of the Stairs
Photograph by Robert Day

The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry has nurtured the acting talents of Olivia Vinall and are, therefore, pleased to acknowledge that she is to play Desdemona in a star studded production of Othello at the National Theatre. Olivia, who is early in to her stage (and TV) career, secured the role after meeting with the National’s casting director following her performance as Reenie in the Belgrade’s adaptation of William Inge’s drama The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.

Directed by the National Theatre’s Artistic Director, Nicholas Hytner, Othello  also stars Adrian Lester, of BBC TV series Hustle and Rory Kinnear as Iago. The production is one of several shows being staged as part of the National Theatre’s 50th anniversary.

Olivia said if it had not been for her role in The Dark at the top of the Stairs she may never have landed this much coveted role. She said “It really is a dream come true for me and all thanks to the Belgrade for producing and supporting lesser known, but incredible pieces of writing. It's good to know people value risks, and without that I wouldn't be about to start this epic adventure.”

Olivia is following in the footsteps of a number of hugely successful actors who have begun their careers at the Belgrade, including Sir Ian McKellen, who had his first job in a Belgrade production of A Man for All Seasons in 1961. He went on to appear in fifteen Belgrade productions before moving on to perform in theatres around the country, including the National Theatre and the RSC.

Other actors include Richard Briers, Sheila Ferris, David Suchet, Joan Plowright, Rosemary Leach, Lesley Joseph, and not forgetting Coventry born, Hollywood actor Clive Owen, whose first taste of acting was as a member of the Belgrade Youth Theatre. Director Trevor Nunn and the RSC’s previous Artistic Director, Michael Boyd are among some of the acclaimed directors to have honed their skills at the Belgrade theatre.

Whilst tickets are not yet on general sale, Othello is due to run at the National’s Olivier Theatre from April 2013.

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