Spotlight: Dion Johnstone is an Othello you don’t want to mess with

Spotlight: Dion Johnstone is an Othello you don’t want to mess with

Spotlight: martial arts and a punishing gym regimen transformed Dion Johnstone into an Othello you don’t want to mess with (Image: Erik Tanner)
 

Six years ago, while Dion Johnstone was rehearsing a duel for a production of King Lear, the show’s fight choreographer told him his moves were too stiff and precise—no one would buy him as the scheming, lance-wielding bastard, Edmund. So he started practising Krav Maga, an Israeli martial art. He also hits the gym six times a week and skips the traditional post-show booze-ups. Mixing a little MMA with his method acting helped him in Stratford’s hit production of The Tempest, where he furiously prowled the stage as Caliban to Christopher Plummer’s Prospero. This month, Johnstone goes into the ultimate fit of jealous rage for Othello. As the murderous Moor, he is all tightly wound menace, and when he finally explodes, it’s with an unleashed aggression rarely seen on a Stratford stage. Iago should start worrying now.

THEATRE

Othello
Starring Dion Johnstone
Avon Theatre, Stratford
Aug. 4 to Oct. 19