Saturday, 1 September 2012

The Tempest

As I mentioned in the last post, I had a ticket to see The Tempest at Bath on Friday night.

I found it to be a somewhat patchy production. Tim Piggott-Smith's Prospero was excellent, a controlling man, but one who was able to change, to listen to Ariel, and to keep his promises. Ariel (Mark Meadows) was also excellent, and alien, although I felt that the odd choice to suddenly put him on stilts part way through - it changed him from being a powerful, other-worldly character to one who appeared awkward, and there didn't seem any reason for it, so it seemed to me to be a distraction from, rather than enhancement of the scene.

(photo (c) The Guardian)
The production also featured 10 or 12 sprites - dressed a little like old fashioned theatre nurses. They watched from the sides of the stage, invisible to the players, for the most part, but contributing towards 'the isle being full of noises'.

Caliban was excellent - naive and vindictive, and Miranda was convincingly young and enthralled by her new experiences.

I was a little underwhelmed by the masque scenes, which involved the 'sprites' manipulating puppets and performing an homage to riverdance using clogs on their hands. 

Over all, I thought it was an interesting, if patchy, performance, which I am glad to have seen.

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