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The Tempest Rocks Barbican London

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Shakespeare’s play The Tempest

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, in collaboration with Intel and in association with The Imaginarium Studios came to the Barbican in London this summer for a seven-week season….reports Richa Grover for Asian Lite News

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Shakespeare’s play The Tempest

The production, directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran, and using Intel technology and performance capture from Imaginarium, played in the Barbican Theatre from 30 June – 18 August this summer as part of the Barbican’s summer programme.

Simon Russell Beale continued to remarkably lead the company as ‘Prospero’, and the show used digital technology strikingly and the set was adapted to make best use of the Barbican theatre space in an optimum manner in this ground-breaking performance.

The plot unfolded true to the script, and with precision in this awe-inspiring show.

On a distant remote island a man waited since years.

Robbed of his worldly possessions, high position, power and all his enormous wealth, his enemies in the form of guised family members had left him in isolation. But this was no ordinary man, and this was ordinary isolated island. Prospero-the protagonist was a magician, able to control the very elements of nature and more so could even bend nature to his will.

When a sail appeared on the horizon, he reached out across the ocean to the ship that were carrying  the men who wronged him safely until he saw them. Creating a vast magical storm he wrecked the ship and washed away his enemies up on the shore. When they woke up they found themselves lost on a fantastical island where nothing was as it seemed. And the plot thickened and the story of Tempest was masterfully told.

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Shakespeare’s play The Tempest

In a unique partnership with Intel, the Royal Shakespeare Company used today’s most advanced technology in a bold reimagining of Shakespeare’s magical play, creating an unforgettable theatrical experience for the discerning audiences.

The acting talent of the cast overall is eloquent and uber impactful so much so that the audiences felt transported and a part of the island and appeared immersed in the scenes, music, words, dances and was a treat to feel one was in the middle of Tempest’s mesmerising set and action.

Safe to say that many of the viewers would echo reviews like ‘State-of-the-art stagecraft meets a career-best performance by Simon Russell Beale‘ Financial Times.

‘Hi-tech spectacle‘. The Guardian

 

The Tempest is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1610–11, and thought by many critics to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone. It is set on a remote island, where the sorcerer Prospero, rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using magic, illusion and skilful orchestration of events. He conjures up a storm, the eponymous tempest, to cause his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to believe they are shipwrecked and marooned on the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio’s despicable nature, the redemption of the King, and the wedding of Miranda to Alonso’s son, Ferdinand.

There is no obvious single source for the plot of The Tempest, but The story draws heavily on the tradition of the romance, and it was influenced by tragic comedy. It differs from Shakespeare’s other plays in its observation of a stricter, more organised neoclassical style.

Overall this was a fantastic Shakespearean treat on stage and the text really came alive in a grand intense set, all very precisely, passionately and perfectly enacted. Three cheers for this production and performance.