Atandwa Kani has been saying all the appropriate things when interviewed about his role in a landmark new production of Othello. For example, pressed to comment on what it is like having a world-famous actor as his dad — Is it difficult to be known as “John Kani’s son”? — he has been firm, diplomatic and poignant: “Absolutely not. He is my father, he has taught me how to be a man, how to explore love, to embrace responsibility. I’ve chosen acting but he’s still my biggest supporter. I don’t take him as this great hero; the world does, and rightly so, but first and foremost he’s my father. There’s no pressure, only love.”

Yet when I chat to Kani junior over the phone, knowing that I share many of his views about Shakespeare, he lets slip a few thoughts that, he admits, “I probably shouldn’t say”. This production of Othello is not one for those unfortunate souls who think of themselves as Shakespearean purists: “We came to this play knowing that the original text does not suit u...

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