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“The tragedy ‘Othello’ was written by Shakespeare at the height of his powers [around 1602], its poetry is finer than ‘Hamlet,’ its psychology deeper than ‘Macbeth,’ its love story more compelling than ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ its heartbreaking tragedy more moving than ‘King Lear.’ ‘Othello’ might be the finest play ever written.”

So spake Paul Stebbings, founder and artistic director of the International Theatre Company London, as he prepared for his company’s 34th tour of Japan. Since ITCL’s debut here, with its award-winning “Wizard of Jazz” in 1992, stagings of such works as “Oliver Twist,” “Animal Farm” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray” have ensured its visits are keenly awaited by theater lovers and English learners alike. Lately, however, ITCL has tended to focus more on Shakespeare, including his “Romeo and Juliet” and “Hamlet,” so providing Japanese audiences with a great opportunity to witness the Bard brought to life in the vernacular.

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