If you've ever read or seen Shakespeare's "Othello" and thought that the tragic Moor's descent from newlywed's bliss to murderous disillusionment happens precipitously, just wait until you see Ohio State's condensation.

If you've ever read or seen Shakespeare's "Othello" and thought that the tragic Moor's descent from newlywed's bliss to murderous disillusionment happens precipitously, just wait until you see Ohio State's condensation.

Directed by the Royal Shakespeare Company's Alison Bomber as part of the international partnership between OSU and the RSC, this adaptation flies by in 90 uninterrupted minutes.

You won't hear Iago's "Who steals my purse steals trash" speech, on the one hand. But on the other, it sharpens Iago's manipulation of foolish, lustful Roderigo (Ibsen Santos), gullible Cassio (Alex Boyles) and innocence Desdemona to achieve his own ends.

Both Desdemona and Iago are double cast, with Charlesanne Rabensburg and Ashley Kobza, Kevin McClatchy and Aaron Zook alternating in the roles. Kobza's Desdemona is convincing with her quiet trust, and Zook's Iago slips through his mercurial role-playing with chilling effortlessness.

South African M.F.A. student Moopi Mothibeli gives Othello a riveting emotional arc in a stylized performance full of accents and cadences that emphasize the uniqueness of the black general in the white military worlds of Venice and Cyprus.

And Alison Vasquez delivers a fiery defense as Emilia, who must split her allegiance between husband Iago and mistress Desdemona.

The stark, efficient set designed by Divya Murthy features a sloping ramp and chains that evoke both the naval setting and the intimation of slavery. Such subtleties elevate this taut "Othello."