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The Tempest, RSC, Stratford-Upon-Avon.

The Tempest explores love, loss and reunion in a journey of forgiveness.

The Tempest explores love, loss and reunion in a journey of forgiveness.

Prospero, (Jonathan Slinger) the Duke of Milan, is stranded on a remote island with daughter Miranda (Emily Taaffe), by his usurping brother Antonio.

Twelve years later, he raises a magical tempest that shipwrecks his enemies, including his brother, on his shores.

Using his power and his hold over mystical spirit Ariel (Sandy Grierson), Prospero enacts his revenge on Antonio and his fellow conspirer King Alonso, plaguing them with ‘pinches’ and toying with them, while the king’s dashing son Ferdinand (Solomon Israel) falls instantly in love with Miranda.

Bumbling fool Stephano and the drunk Trinculo, played by Mackinnon and Hayes, also make a misbegotten attempt to seize a little power for themselves but are quickly discovered and punished along with the rest by Ariel, who appears as a confusing lookalike of Prospero.

Ariel has an ethereal presence on stage as his haunting singing raises the hair on the back of the neck.

He and his fellow spirits seem to disappear and reappear seemingly from nothing as they continue to torment the shipwrecked visitors.

But as Prospero has all his foes under his power he decides to reveal himself and forgive his enemies.

Director David Farr’s spectacular set, with magical mirrored cube and flying goddesses make

The Tempest as visionally surprising as it is an emotionally moving climax to the shipwreck trilogy.

The Tempest, along with Twelfth Night and Comedy of Errors, make up the shipwreck trilogy at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon until October.

 

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