In this article, I examine selected Australian and New Zealand productions of Othello over a thirty-five year arc, sampling critical commentary from each decade to highlight the expectations of Shakespeare in performance on the colonial stage. In particular, I analyse the portrayals of key roles by several actors who made their careers in Australia, including Conrad Knowles, H.N. Warner and G.A. Arabin, alongside Miss Aitken and G.V. Brooke, in order to explore the range of artistic expression and its critical reception.