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Tempest


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#1 Jan Brock

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 08:54 AM

Rupert Goold "Tempest" currently in London is the best main stage debut I have ever seen by anyone at RSC - flawed, it is true, but fantastic. Book now for his studio Macbeth (with Patrick Stewart) at Chichester.

#2 Trev

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 10:26 AM

Totally agree Jan. Fabulous production, and am looking forward to seeing more of his work.

#3 Jan Brock

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 11:49 AM

I hope that, unlike some others who have done outstanding early productions for them (Katie Mitchell, Deborah Warner) that RSC are able to keep him working for them over a few seasons - but the omens are not good with his next Shakespeare production being at Chichester.

#4 coated peanuts

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 12:08 AM

I have to join the chorus of how wonderful this production of The Tempest is. I had a bit of a sinking feeling in the first few minutes when it looked like there might be a gratuitous use of multimedia, something that thankfully never came to pass.

Julien Bleach as Ariel was strangely compelling, tender, viscious and heartbreaking at the same time. I don't think I ever want to see another Ariel again. Caliban was also spot-on and John Light had just the right physical energy to play him as someone who is clearly not entirely human.

The rest of the cast was very good, apart from Patrick Steward who was very very good and Craig Gazey who was truly funny as Trinculo. Miranda was a bit meh, but that hardly mattered.


#5 Jan Brock

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 01:15 PM

QUOTE(coated peanuts @ Mar 18 2007, 12:08 AM) View Post
I have to join the chorus of how wonderful this production of The Tempest is. I had a bit of a sinking feeling in the first few minutes when it looked like there might be a gratuitous use of multimedia, something that thankfully never came to pass.

Julien Bleach as Ariel was strangely compelling, tender, viscious and heartbreaking at the same time. I don't think I ever want to see another Ariel again. Caliban was also spot-on and John Light had just the right physical energy to play him as someone who is clearly not entirely human.

The rest of the cast was very good, apart from Patrick Steward who was very very good and Craig Gazey who was truly funny as Trinculo. Miranda was a bit meh, but that hardly mattered.


I thought Caliban was a little weak but probably because I can still remember Michael Boyd's startling and compelling Roundhouse interpretation of Caliban as a black slave in a 17th century Colonial West Indian setiing. I found the interpretation of Miranda very clever and innovative - mirroring Prosperos phycial mannerisms, and so on.

#6 coated peanuts

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 07:03 PM

I like Caliban being very physical and more of a non-human being or elemental who possibly stands for the darker side of human nature. And I certainly can be impressed by semi-acrobatics so this interpretation ticked the right boxes for me.

Miranda just left me cold with her impressive list of ticks and mannerisms. It actually makes sense to play her as a rather odd child, given how she grew up on the island, but this particular actress didn't manage to make me believe that she was anything than a grown-up trying to play an odd teenager.

And whilst I wasn't so keen on the sinking ship at the beginning, I noticed that it the image really burned itself into my memory. I'd really like to go and see it again, but no such luck.


#7 David

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 06:20 PM

QUOTE(coated peanuts @ Mar 18 2007, 07:03 PM) View Post
And whilst I wasn't so keen on the sinking ship at the beginning, I noticed that it the image really burned itself into my memory.

Thinking about this, you're absolutely right. I saw this from the gods at the RST, and struggled with the opening scene (some of the people I was with said that they couldn't see or hear the scene at all)- however, I do still remember it very well, and from a technical point of view it was quite clever.

#8 thecrucible

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 11:07 AM


Having seen the Michael Boyd production at the Roundhouse, I'm surprised someone found the interpretation of Caliban "startling and compelling". There is absolutely justification for playing Caliban as a colonial slave but it is hardly a surprisingly new interpretation and I remember being thoroughly underwhelmed by the actor playing him (by the whole production, in fact - a few aerial tricks and the harpy appearing from a swan notwithstanding). It's amazing that what one audience member finds dull and unimaginative, another can find startling and compelling - as has been said many times on this board, I guess that's the joy of theatre.

#9 Jan Brock

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 12:59 PM

QUOTE(thecrucible @ Mar 20 2007, 11:07 AM) View Post
Having seen the Michael Boyd production at the Roundhouse, I'm surprised someone found the interpretation of Caliban "startling and compelling". There is absolutely justification for playing Caliban as a colonial slave but it is hardly a surprisingly new interpretation and I remember being thoroughly underwhelmed by the actor playing him (by the whole production, in fact - a few aerial tricks and the harpy appearing from a swan notwithstanding). It's amazing that what one audience member finds dull and unimaginative, another can find startling and compelling - as has been said many times on this board, I guess that's the joy of theatre.


I am aware it is not a new interpretation, but the previous example was before my time so I didn't see it. There is no "justification" for playing him as an Innuit either - it is a mere conceit for our diversion and entertainment which might shed some new light on the part (a good thing). However, I agree with your other comments about this particular production, Malcom Storry being particularly miscast.

#10 plutoanddragons

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Posted 22 March 2007 - 03:00 PM

QUOTE(David @ Mar 19 2007, 06:20 PM) View Post
Thinking about this, you're absolutely right. I saw this from the gods at the RST, and struggled with the opening scene (some of the people I was with said that they couldn't see or hear the scene at all)- however, I do still remember it very well, and from a technical point of view it was quite clever.



I was in row G in the stalls and I couldn't hear the first part very well. I think they had some kind of sound echo effect on it, to make it seem like they were in the hull of a ship, but it didn't really matter as the atmosphere of panic in a storm was conveyed well. I thought Julian Bleach's Ariel was fantastic and mesmerising, and the only distracting element in this was the wooden and mannered Miranda.

I think this was the most visually exciting of all the RSC productions, in this current London run; I struggled to keep myself awake through Antony and Cleopatra.

Which RSC productions do you think will be coming to London next?




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