Art and Culture

Othello On Location in Northern Cyprus

“…O, beware my Lord, of jealousy!  It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on…,”  William Shakespeare, Othello, Act3 Scene3


This was just one of the stirring speeches that echoed around the bastions of Othello’s Tower in Famagusta last Sunday (March 20), when the London-based Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre actors and camera crew, descended upon the ancient monument to record some footage for posterity.

But not just for posterity!  April 23rd 2016 sees the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and in celebration of the ‘Bard’s’ works, the Globe Theatre will be mounting a week-long feast of entertainment both in the theatre and on 37 large screens stretching along the Embankment in London, from Westminster to Tower Bridge.

Othello on location 3

Thirty-seven short films have been shot around the world, including in Scotland, Denmark, Venice, Madrid, Barbados and, of course, Famagusta, of places or locations which supposedly inspired Shakespeare to write his plays.

The films will be shown every day for a week from 10am till 10pm and will then get a second screening in some of the major capitals of countries around the world.

It was 8am on a bright sunny Sunday morning when the actors and crew arrived ‘on-set’ in Famagusta and upon entering the recently refurbished Othello’s Tower, its quiet, almost eerie atmosphere within the thick sand-stone walls, suddenly seemed to spring to life with echoes of a time gone by.  With the Director’s sharp retort, “Cameras Rolling and Action”, we were taken back in time to listen in to Lago and Othello’s conversations.

Playing Othello was well known Shakespearian, film and television actor David Harewood, perhaps best known for his current roles in the American TV series, “Homeland” and BBC1’s  “The Night Manager”.  And, alongside him in the role of Lago was John Heffernan, a classical Shakespearian actor, a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a regular at the National Theatre in London.  He is also recognised for his many roles in UK TV dramas.

Othello on location 1

Filming at Othello’s Tower was directed by stage and screen director, James Dacre.

These moments and the accompanying photographs were captured by Peter Wills, founder of North Cyprus Film who is also currently involved in the setting up of a Film Commission for North Cyprus.  He also acted as location manager for the shoot.

Peter says, “Since settling in North Cyprus some six years ago, it has been my aim and desire to attract film-makers and TV dramatists to use the island as a location for their shoots.  We have a wide variety of locations available from fabulous beaches, remote moorland and forests, traditional towns and villages and ancient monuments plus those all-important factors, fantastic weather and a friendly, welcoming people.

“The visit of the Shakespeare Globe Theatre film crew wih their talented actors, has given this project an exciting kick-start.  I hope it is the first of many more to come.

“We hope to be able to show the film shot at Othello’s Tower, via social media at the end of April.”

Othello on location 2

2 replies »

  1. I Know North Cyprus from year 1980 ; I loved it immediately because his so ancient and rich history and now finally I am really very very excited and moved because now someone, is able to make known and valorize this special, lovely, fantastic, unique place in the world that is still well preserved from bad mass tourism.
    I think that for this reason till now it is magic and permit to understand and to identify oneself in its past history.
    Thanks a lot to Mr Peter Wills for his resource foulness.
    Marilena Andina- Milan (Italy)

    • Hello Marilena Nice to see you read Cyprusscene all the way in Italy and that you know North Cyprus. Thank you also for your personal comments. I have lived in North Cyprus for six years now and agree that it has an unspoilt charm and beauty and that is why it is my passion to promote the island as a location for film-making so that many more people can appreciate the wonder of this country. Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2016 16:24:30 +0000 To:

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