The Tempest – 1993

Director Keith Phillips

‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep’ act 4 scene 1

What is The Tempest?

In keeping with the group of plays written at the end of Shakespeare’s career (Pericles, Cymbeline and The Winter’s Tale), it is often referred to as a romance or tragicomedy.

I, however, prefer to call it a. fantasy or even a fairy story. The laws of everyday causality are completely disregarded in favour of magic. We are presented with the interaction of humans and spirits, a handsome prince and a beautiful princess and the triumph of good over evil but without any actual violent acts. As a young, long-haired student I first saw the play at the Mermaid Theatre at Blackfriars in London. An appropriate place, as Shakespeare’s last plays were conceived for a new indoor theatre in that very location. Even though I was only studying the play for examination purposes, it still left a lasting impression on me, and now 20 years later I finally have the opportunity of unfurling its plot across our stage.

This stage is hallowed turf, as any one of the numerous local actors who have ‘strutted and fretted’ across it will confirm. Walking out onto it on a balmy summer’s evening and confronting the audience, 242 strong, is an experience unequalled elsewhere. I must admit that even as Director I am somewhat jealous of the actors. I can only stand at a window and watch them perform for you, while I secretly long to be Caliban or Stephano, Antonio or Prospero.

So forget the town outside the walls of this ‘theatre’ and come with us to another time and another place. I promise you a traditional happy ending.

‘Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant;
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so, that it assaults
Mercy itself, and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardoned be,
Let your indulgence set me free’
Prospero’s Epilogue.

 

Cast

ALONSO, KING OF NAPLES David Oxlee

FERDINAND, SON TO THE KING OF NAPLES Jonathan Brown

SEBASTION, HIS BROTHER Michael Williamson

PROSPERO, THE RIGHTFUL DUKE OF MILAN Mike Storey

ANTONIO, HIS BROTHER THE URURPING DUKE OF MILAN Eric Usher

GONZALO, AN HONEST COUNSELLOR TO THE KING JACK Jack Hyde

ADRIAN, LORD Peter Barton

FRANCISCO, LORD Phil Collins

CALIBAN, A SAVAGE SLAVE David Foyle

TRINCULO, A JESTER Tony Gaskell

STEPHANO, A DRUNKEN BUTLER Charles Looker

MASTER OF THE SHIP Peter Sawford

BOATSWAIN John Shippey

MIRANDA, DAUGHTER TO PROSPERO Nicola Gunton

ARIEL, A SPIRIT OF THE AIR Carolyn Noble

IRIS, SPIRIT Jo Grey

CERES, SPIRIT Maggie Redgrave

JUNO, SPIRIT Eve Redgrave

NYMPHS AND SPRITES Bethan Pugh, Clare Ledger, Lucie Oates, Emma Langdale, Sharon Reed, Kate Levitt, Barry Stratford, Leigh Barber

 

Production Team

Director Keith Phillips

Stage Manager Bob Pugh

Stage Crew Claire Goovaerts, Chris Hunnam, Tanzy Lee, Peter Levitt, John Morgan, Tony Mullins, Virginia Mullins, Matthew Redman, Richard Storey

Stage Construction Nigel Callaghan & Team

Set Construction Bob Pugh & Members of the Company

Lighting Design Malcolm Lyons

Lighting Team Roger Blackmore, Malcolm Down, Darryl Flemming, Pat Hamilton, Gareth Harris, Andy Kendon, Malcolm Lyons, Mel Pugsley, Ruth Taylor, Sam Thornely

Sound Gerry Davison & Team

Sound Equipment SJC Services

Make-Up Jan Sheppeard, Lynda Morgan, Pat Hamiliton, Lesley Barclay, Linda Savory

Wardrobe Wendy Usher, Mo Pearce & Members of the Shakespeare at the George Wardrobe Team

Mask Maker Robin Wilson

Continuity Vivienne Dyer

Photographs Simon Ellis ABIPP AMPA

Publicity Marline Peulevé, Michael Williamson, Mo Pearce, Trish James & Rosie Austen

Poster Design Sara Broughton

Front of House & Sales Trish James assisted by Front of House Team

Box Office Cheryl & Michael Cook

Choreographer Roz Clarke

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