The Tempest

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Previewed 27 August 2011, Opened 6 September 2011, Closed 29 October 2011 at the Haymarket Theatre in London

A major revival of William Shakespeare's The Tempest in London starring Ralph Fiennes and directed by Trevor Nunn.

Marooned and left to die on a remote island, Prospero can command spirits, create apparitions and manipulate the elements. By using his magic, he assembles his enemies to take revenge on them, and in the process awakens in Miranda, his teenage daughter, her first experience of love. The theme of reconciliation gives immense emotional force to Shakespeare's farewell to the stage. Almost certainly Shakespeare's last play, The Tempest can lay claim to being the first ever work of magic realism.

This cast for this major production of The Tempest in London features Ralph Fiennes as 'Prospero' and Nicholas Lyndhurst as 'Trinculo' along with Elisabeth Hopper as 'Miranda', Julian Wadham as 'Antonio', Clive Wood as 'Stephano', Michael Benz, Tom Byam Shaw, James Simmons and Giles Terera. The production is directed by Trevor Nunn with designs by Stephen Brimson Lewis, lighting by Paul Pyant, music by Shaun Davey and sound by Paul Groothuis. Ralph Fiennes London West End credits include Yasmina Reza's play God of Carnage at the Gielgud Theatre in 2008 and and Henrik Ibsen's play Brand for the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Haymarket Theatre in 2003. Nicholas Lyndhurst's West End stage credits include the role of 'Norman', opposite Julian Glover as 'Sir', in Sir Peter Hall's revival of Ronald Harwood's The Dresser at the Duke of York's Theatre in 2005.

"Ralph Fiennes as Prospero... is far less the vindictive tyrant or bossy headmaster here than he often appears, and a much more sympathetic, meditative and melancholy figure... While such a Prospero is in danger of seeming merely vague and underpowered, here it is a gently compelling performance... Giles Terera is excellent as Caliban, with a powerful physical presence and as fine a delivery of the lines as anyone here; better than most, in fact... Nicholas Lyndhurst is on perfect comic form as the jester Trinculo... He is entirely matched for comic value by Clive Wood as the boorish, burping butler, Stephano. James Simmons has a fine, grave aspect as Alonso, and Michael Benz is amiable as his son Ferdinand, a bright and honourable schoolboy. There are weaker performances, however, and some of the scenes are underpowered, if not positively amateurish... It's always good to see a bit of Shakespeare invading the West End of trashy musicals, but here the West End appears to have invaded Shakespeare. All in all, despite some good performances, such directorial misjudgments make for a patchy production." The Sunday Times

"Having starred as Voldemort, the evil genius in the Harry Potter films, it is gratifying to see Ralph Fiennes as the virtuous magician, Prospero, in Shakespeare's The Tempest... Fiennes, who sounds as good as he looks, is the reason for seeing this production and while the rest of the performances are fine, they are at their best when engaged with this soulful Prospero. He brings out the humanity of even the most vicious characters... But not everything is pure magic. The sprite Ariel is played by a trio of actors but Tom Byam Shaw, flitting about as light as air, would be enough. And the masque to celebrate Miranda's wedding is enchanting until one of the goddesses begins speaking with a jarring Eastern European accent. Never mind, Fiennes is a piercing triumph and his is a truly spell-binding performance." The Mail on Sunday

The Tempest in London at the Haymarket Theatre previewed from 27 August 2011, opened on 6 September 2011 and closed on 29 October 2011.


The Bridge Project: The Tempest starring Stephen Dillane

Previewed 18 June 2010, Opened 23 June 2010, Closed 21 August 2010 at the Old Vic Theatre in London.

'The Bridge Project' presents Shakespeare's The Tempest in London starring Stephen Dillane, Christian Camargo and Juliet Rylance and directed by Sam Mendes - presented in repertory with As You Like It.

Shakespeare's magical last play, his poignant farewell to the stage - has love, tragedy and comedy combined in equal measure. The usurped Prospero draws his enemies to his enchanted island to exact his revenge, yet ultimately finds peace and the ability to forgive.

The cast for The Tempest in London features Stephen Dillane as 'Prospero', Christian Camargo as 'Stephano' and Juliet Rylance as 'Miranda' with Michelle Beck, Ron Cephas Jones and Thomas Sadoski. It is directed by Sam Mendes with set designs by Tom Piper, costume designs by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Paul Pyant, sound by Simon Baker, music by Mark Bennett and choreography by Josh Prince. The Tempest and As You Like It are performed in repertory by the same acting company and creative team. Prior to tickets going on sale it was anounced that Anne-Marie Duff, who was expected to play 'Ariel' in this production, had withdrawn due to illness in her family. This production was staged at Brooklyn Academy of Music's Harvey Theater in New York where it previewed from 14 February 2010, opened on 24 February 2010 and closed on 13 March 2010.

"This is the second season of The Bridge Project, forged by directors Sam Mendes, The Old Vic's Kevin Spacey and Joseph Melillo, who runs New York's Brooklyn Academy. It stages classics featuring some of the best actors from both sides of the pond and tours them the world over. Last year's outing was nothing special. This time round I was left overwhelmingly underwhelmed again... There's the odd magic moment in Mendes's production. The tempest itself is powerfully conjured up with Prospero's enchanted staff becoming the mast and rail of the storm-tossed ship. But Stephen Dillane, one of the most mesmerising actors on the contemporary stage, entirely fails to cast a spell or to bewitch because he seems locked up in his own world, in which he mumbles to himself, barely audible even to those in the front stalls. Not surprising, few of the complexities of this deeply conflicted character reveal themselves, although he seems sorry to have promised to set his sprite, Ariel, free. Through Prospero we should be eavesdropping on Shakespeare's farewell to the stage and hanging on every last precious word, not straining to hear them." The Mail on Sunday

The Bridge Project is an unprecedented three-year, transatlantic partnership uniting The Old Vic Theatre in London with The Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, and Neal Street Productions. Each year a single Anglo/American company will perform a double-bill of classic works in repertory at both the Brooklyn Academy of Music and at The Old Vic Theatre, and make at least one other international visit. The project is borne out of the group's shared desire to produce large-scale, classical theatre for international audiences. The Project started in 2009 when Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale and Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard where presented. Now, for the Project's second year in 2010, two of Shakespeare's play will be performed - The Tempest and As You Like It. The Bridge Project was originally due to start in 2008 with Shakespeare's Hamlet and The Tempest with a company lead by Stephen Dillane but was postponed by a year when Stephen Dillane withdrew "due to personal reasons arising from family reasons."

The Bridge Project: The Tempest in London at the Old Vic Theatre previewed from 18 June 2010, opened on 23 June 2010 and closed on 21 August 2010 - played in repertory with As You Like It.


The Bridge Project: The Tempest starring Stephen Dillane

The production was announced to run in repertory with Hamlet during May and June 2008 at the Old Vic Theatre in London as the opening productions in The Bridge Project. The cast due to be lead by Stephen Dillane as 'Prospero' - who returned to the play the role in 2010.

PLEASE NOTE: This production was cancelled before the first performance and was replaced with Pygmalion. After this false start, The Bridge Project finally began in 2009 with The Cherry Orchard and The Winter's Tale playing together in repertory from June to August 2009.


The Tempest starring Patrick Stewart

Previewed 22 February 2007, Opened 28 February 2007, Closed 24 March 2007 at the Novello Theatre in London

The Royal Shakespeare Company present Shakespeare's play The Tempest in London starring Patrick Stewart and directed by Rupert Goold.

Shakespeare's magical last play, his poignant farewell to the stage - has love, tragedy and comedy combined in equal measure. The usurped Prospero draws his enemies to his enchanted island to exact his revenge, yet ultimately finds peace and the ability to forgive.

The cast for The Tempest in London features Patrick Stewart as 'Prospero' along with Mariah Gale as 'Miranda' and John Light as 'Caliban' with Joseph Alessi, Ravi Aujla, Paul Barnhill, Julian Bleach, Ken Bones, Allyson Brown, Rob Carroll, Nick Court, Craig Gazey, James Hayes, John Hopkins, Chris Jarman, Edmund Kingsley, Finbar Lynch, Luke Neal, Golda Rosheuvel, David Rubin and Emma Jay Thomas.It is directed by Rupert Goold with set designs by Giles Cadle, costume designs by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting by Paul Anderson, music and sound by Adam Cork, video by Lorna Heavey and movement/choreography by Michael Ashcroft. This production comes into London's West End following a season at the Royal Shakepeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in August 2006.

"Rupert Goold's new production at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford opens with a stunningly choreographed storm that has special effcts worthy of a Steven Spielberg blockbuster... The Tempest is still a hugely impressive production, an almighty triumph of style over substance... Patrick Stewart was a Shakespearean actor of some note before he made his name in films and it is his immaculate stagecraft that gives Goold's Tempest a living, beating heart." The Sunday Telegraph

"Rupert Goold's production is full of such stunning visual-anthropological touches, making a dark, visceral and mesmerising Tempest out of what has too often been played as a rather airy and intellectual play. Patrick Stewart's Prospero is certainly no airy intellectual, serenely forgiving his enemies, bringing young lovers together and saying a fond farewell to his art. He's a tormented and embittered magician with a tattooed skull, vexed to the bitter end... A tremendous and wildly original production." The Sunday Times

RSC's The Tempest in London at the Novello Theatre previewed from 22 February 2007, opened on 28 February 2007 and closed on 24 March 2007.