Reviewed: The Tempest at The Watermill, Newbury

Published: 18 Oct 2012 06:300 comments

Believed to be the last play Shakespeare wrote, The Tempest is set on a remote, unidentified island where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, and his daughter Miranda have been wrongly exiled by the political machinations of his jealous brother Antonio.

Prospero possesses magical skills, something he has used to cause the guilty parties to be shipwrecked on his island, and stage designer Jemima Robinson has created a truly ethereal set that spreads into the audience along shelves stacked with dusty tomes and ancient radios, effectively used during the production to emphasize the mystical aspects of the story.

There were strong performances from all the players with particularly riveting portrayals from Aoife McMahon (Ariel), Michael Hadley (Prospero) and Tim Chipping (Caliban). Adding a touch of comedy to the production, which runs until Saturday, November 3, Tarek Merchant (Trinculo) and James Allen (Stephano) produced convincing characterisations in their minor roles.

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