Upon finishing my reading of the play, I add further comment
The show was first produced in 1988 by Nightwood Theatre at Toronto Annex theatre. Since then it has toured nationally to venues around Canada, and won the Governor General's Award for Drama.
The play is extremely humourous, particularly because of it's method of recasting typically serious Shakespearian characters by developing their personalities. Amazingly accurate to the original text, the play is extremely carefully written, which Constance comments on when she notes,
I speak in blank verse like the characters:
unrhymed iambical pentameter.
It seems to come quuite nat'rally to me.
Anywhere possible, MacDonald uses original lines from both plays, and manipulates well known scenes (i.e. the famous "balcony scene" in Romeo and Juliet). The humour is light and if you have read both Othello and Romeo and Juliet, and know abit about Shakespeare, the experience will be enhanced though it's not necessary. For instance, in Act III Scene ix, Desdemona is wandering through a graveyard and reads a couple of lines off a tombstone. She is actually reading part of the curse the bard but on his tombstone, which reads
Good friend for Jesus sake forbear,
To dig the dust enclosed here.
Blessed be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.
Constance's journey could be read in various ways. The characters could all be figments of her unconscious, and the journey representing a trip through the mind. Or the play could be taken at face value. In any case, it is a fun, humourous play that I found to be very different from MacDonald's later work. A very good read for those devoted to Shakespeare or anybody who enjoys a well-written play.