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The extraordinary actor coming to Dubai

Words by Rob Chilton

From athlete to actor, Victor Oshin has had a remarkable journey onto the stage

Victor Oshin makes his professional stage debut as Othello in a touring production that arrives in Dubai on January 30. Here’s the lowdown on one of the most exciting young actors working today.

Oshin on stage as Othello

Oshin comes from a London neighbourhood not far from the Olympic Stadium and could have perhaps performed there one day in the javelin. But an injury led him to a different kind of performance: acting. “While in rehab, I thought: ‘What else can I do?’ and I considered acting. He took classes and enrolled at the National Youth Theatre before studying at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA). “I was there for two years, but it didn’t work out.”

In rehearsal

After spending time working in bars in London, Oshin decided to give acting another try by completing his studies at ALRA. “I wasn’t doing what I love and that gets you down,” he explains. “I started getting back into acting by doing classes here, there and everywhere, and people began to notice it.”

Remarkably he made his professional stage debut as Othello in the English Touring Theatre’s production of the Shakespeare play directed by Richard Twyman, something Oshin describes as “insane.” He adds, “It’s crazy and amazing and exactly what you want when you graduate. It’s the role that you dream of; it’s terrifying but exciting.” The play arrives in Dubai at the end of January.

Poster for the play

Oshin describes the play as “very emotional,” adding, “it takes a lot physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s one of the most iconic roles a black actor can play. I had to find out what I could bring to the role. I think I bring vulnerability, as well as strength and authority. Also, as much as he is an authority figure, he is young and fun.” Alongside Oshin on stage are Paul McEwan (Iago), Kelly Price (Emelia) and Christopher Bianchi (Brabantio).

Next, Oshin wants to play Hamlet. “I would also like to play a bad guy,” he smiles. “James Bond as well, maybe?”

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