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Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS
Ended 18 Aug 2017 after 49 days
State-of-the-art stagecraft meets a career-best performance by Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale is set to reprise his acclaimed role as Prospero when Royal Shakespeare Company's production of The Tempest transfers to the Barbican in 2017. Despite only having been open for a week in November before a London transfer was announced, the Gregory Doran-helmed show has already won critical praise in the press. A joint enterprise between RSC and Intel, the computer company provides state-of-the-art projections to recreate the island wasteland that Prospero rules over. This production also marks the return of Russell Beale to the RSC after a 20-year absence.
Telling the story of a wronged, exiled magician who presides over a deserted island, The Tempest explores themes of revenge, forgiveness and love. Prospero, the Duke of Milan, who has been usurped by his brother resides on a remote island, where he considers how he might find a way to restore his daughter, Miranda to her rightful place as heiress to the title. He is determined that he must turn to sorcery when he sees white sails on the island horizon one fateful day, conjuring up a storm so fearsome that the crew are shipwrecked within hours. What follows is a stunning journey of the fantastical for both Miranda, the crew and Prospero himself.
With Intel in charge of the stage-craft, audiences are transported to a mythical world of mystery and magic, with twisted vines masking faces behind, and intricate lighting to give an otherworldly feel to certain characters such as Ariel. A must-see for both fans of the Bard and to newcomers of school-age, this production is a testament to the longevity and lasting relevance of Shakespeare's work and to bringing it to the 21st century.
Opening night: 30 June 2017
Closing night: 18 August 2017
Suitable for ages 10+
Two hours 25 minutes plus one 20-minute interval
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