The production has been created in collaboration with the imaginarium studio, (Which did the motion capture special effects for films such as the Lord of the Rings) .
Going in the the theatre, the set is striking, the huge, broken shell of a ship, and then of course the performance begins - Simon Russell Beale is, at first, not a striking Prospero,a small figure, in a simple, dark, academic gown, but he grows in strength and power as the play progresses.
|Simon Russell Beale as Prospero (Photo (C) RSC)|
|Ariel in the cleft tree (C) RSC|
I was a little concerned that the special effects might overshadow the play itself, but I didn't feel that they did, largely due to Mark Quartley and Simon Russell Beale's performances.
I was slightly underwhelmed by Caliban,who seemed to be defined by grotesque costuming (and a fish) but had little opportunity to let any character show. I don't find the 'comedy' between Trinculo, Stephano and Caliban very funny, but it was well done (particularly Tony Jayawardena as Stephano.)
All in ll, I was very impressed, and enjoyed the play a lot. I know it is due to be broadcast to cinemas on 11th January and I am tempted to go to see it, to have the chance to look more closely at the details.
The live play is at Stratford until 21st January, and then in London at the Barbican from 30th June until 18th August next year.
There is a video about the making of the special events, for those who are interested!