The Tempest is part political allegory and part fantastical tale of strange creatures and otherworldly powers. Full of humour, enchantment and magical possibility, at the play’s heart is a tender portrayal of paternal love and a touching depiction of an unsocialised young woman’s first real encounter with the world.
Twelve years before the opening of the play, Prospero, a learned magician, has been deposed as Duke of Milan by his brother Antonio and fellow conspirators. Cast out to sea, Prospero and his young daughter Miranda have been washed ashore on a remote island. There they have lived while Miranda grows up with only two other creatures for company – Prospero’s shape-shifting sprite-servant, Ariel, and a brutish half-monster, Caliban. Aware that his enemies of old are sailing close to his island, at the play’s opening, Prospero magically conjures a sea-storm to wreck them on his shores.
Finding themselves washed up in a strange land, the shipwrecked courtiers and members of their retinue – including a drunken cook and a hapless jester – undergo a series of unexpected trials, causing each of them to reveal more about themselves.
Having brought those who wronged him in the past to his island, and with the magical help of Ariel, Prospero has the power to deal with them however he chooses. But will he punish or forgive? And how will he ensure both the future happiness of his daughter and his own future peace?
Shows will go ahead in all weather conditions, and will only be cancelled in extreme situations. No refunds or exchanges will be permitted due to the weather, unless the show is cancelled.
The venue is a three tiered Elizabethan Theatre with 200 cushioned backed seats under cover, and 350 standing places in the Yard which are uncovered. Standing places are directly in front of the stage and as close to the stage as it’s possible to get. Some of the acting happens in the Yard so it’s the place to be! No seat is more than approximately 15 metres from the stage.