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Israeli Othello Suspended for Slap

May 18, 1998

JERUSALEM (AP) _ After knocking out the leading lady, breaking his hand in a fencing match and slapping Desdemona so hard she stomped off the stage, Othello has been suspended.

The Haifa Municipal Theater, while conceding that the impromptu stage violence was brought on by lead actor Giuliano Mar’s ``total immersion in his acting,″ also canceled performances Monday and Tuesday.

The actor insisted that leading lady Maya Maoz was simply too wimpy for the role.

``I slapped her as part of my role and she left the stage in the middle,″ Mar told the Maariv daily, adding, ``Every other day she faints and then I am suspended.″

In January, Maoz cracked her head on an iron bed frame and fell motionless during a scene in which Desdemona is attacked by Othello. On Thursday, Mar broke his hand while fencing as Othello.

Theater spokeswoman Miri Kalfa said that the theater would decide the future of Othello _ the actor and the play _ in coming days.

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