Toni Morrison’s play Desdemona revolves around the Shakespearian character (wife of Othello who’s accused of adultery) and her relationship with her African nurse/slave, Barbary, who raised her. Barbary (played/sung by Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré, who also wrote the music) is only mentioned in the play Othello, never introduced. Blond blue-eyed American Tina Benko plays Desdemona who reveals Othello’s stories (that made her fall in love) to which Barbary relates. She too was in love with a mad man who had forsaken her.
Desdemona will be staged in London this July during the World Shakespeare Festival. Bring your handkerchief!