UnNews:Bowie to Become The New Director At The RSC

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23 June 2009


There was uproar in the theatre world last night as it emerged that David Bowie’s controversial new take on William Shakespeare’s classic play Othello will feature children’s entertainers The Chuckle Brothers in leading roles. Bowie, notorious for constantly reinventing himself, has embraced his new role of director with relish and is not worried about courting controversy. Bowie’s appointment had already been the source of raised eyebrows earlier this year when, at an RSC press conference, he was flamboyantly introduced to a panel of journalists, descending on a 50ft zip-line from a golden helicopter clad in 1972 Ziggy Stardust attire. Bowie would not grant interviews at the time, complaining about the bitter cold in the conference room, but did hint that his vision for the play would be “pretty far out, man. Pretty freaky.”

The Chuckles’ casting was leaked by a disgruntled stagehand who quit the production in anger having been disgusted by the direction it was taking and frustrated of being at the whim of Bowie’s ever ch-ch-changing moods. In an exclusive interview, the stagehand Rufus Twicks revealed the secrets behind the much-talked-about adaptation of the Bard’s famous depiction of jealousy, race and love.

“When I first heard that Bowie had dropped previous plans to have Barry Chuckle black himself up to play the Moor, I was relieved. That is, until I discovered to my dismay that Bowie now planned to have every other character in the play “blacked up”, as he referred to it, and recast black actor Michael Clarke Duncan, of The Green Mile fame, to play Othello as a white man, in a modern day twist of the racial divide. He said he wanted to question the audiences preconceptions about race by “utterly confusing them”.

“Michael’s audition was horrific,” continued Mr Twicks. “Bowie abandoned orthodox make-up techniques employed in theatres around the country, opting instead to make Mr Clarke Duncan appear white by hitting him around the head with used chalkboard dusters, clouding him in a haze of discolouring white powder.

Compounding the furore surrounding the new play comes the news that this incarnation of Othello will forego the traditional Venice setting, with Bowie opting instead to set the events in Space, specifically on the planet Mars. This has caused problems with the cast and crew, as to recreate the Mars setting, he has littered the stage with the spiders from mars. This led to arachnophobic actor Patrick Stewart, originally in line to play an alopecia-stricken Desdemona, turning his back on the whole production. Says Mr Twicks, “Patrick Stewart gave Bowie an ultimatum, “it’s me or the spiders”. Bowie picked the spiders. The cast were flabbergasted, many upset at losing the opportunity to work with the classically trained formidable ex-Star Trek actor.

Mr Twicks exclusively revealed that the Chuckles are now confirmed to play the roles of Iago and Roderigo. He complains, however, that the comedy duo have been playing the roles decidedly Jewish in rehearsals. Below is a transcript of a handheld video recording of a recent rehearsal provided to us by Mr Twicks.


Enter Roderigo, and Iago. They are wearing spacesuits. Iago is strapped to a rocket pack, which propels him around the stage, leaving a smoke trail which spells the phrase “I HATE OTHELLO”. He lands next to Roderigo.

IAGO: Eh, Baz… uh, I mean Rodders. You’ll never guess what happened? RODERIGO: What? IAGO: G’on, guess. RODERIGO: Guess what?? IAGO: Guess! RODERIGO: You mean like David Gest? IAGO: Who’s that, Rod? RODERIGO: Just tell us what ‘appened, ya spam. IAGO: Dear, oh dear, d’yer know what that Othello’s done? He’s only put that Cassio in charge of the space corps. RODERIGO: You what? IAGO: I’m gonna stab him right in the back, you mark my words. Quick! Gimme ya rocket pack. RODERIGO: To you? IAGO: To me. RODERIGO: To you? IAGO: To me!

This is where the recording ends.

London: UK


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This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.