Yesterday, my first show was The Tempest. I wound up at The Tempest because I ended up talking to one of the performers while waiting in line to see World’s Fair 1876: International Exhibition. A couple of days later while standing in another line, I heard the director’s wife talking about the show.
This is one of the great pleasures of the Fringe Festival. As you travel around, sit in the beer tent, or wait in line, you find out about various performances. Sometimes you’ll get more information to convince you to attend a given show. You may also avoid a show that isn’t up your alley.
I know the Fringe experience is about trying new, and different shows. However, with a limited number of shows and time, it’s nice to find several you know you’ll like to balance off the ones that are more of a risk.
The Tempest: Indifferently Reformed
The Tempest is believed to be one of William Shakespeare’s last plays. If you want to more about the play and it’s history check out the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust website. This production is by Indifferently Reformed a local amateur theatre copany dedicated to perfoming the works of Shakespeare.
You can look up the story on that Birthplace Trust site as well. It’s complicated. It involves injustice, vengeance, trickery, and love. This show captures all of those elements really well.
This is another show at The Royal Albert Arms. I made sure to get a seat that gave me a real good of the stage. I’m glad I did as there is a lot of actions that covers the whole of the stage.
As the title states, The Tempest starts with a mighty powerful storm. This is really well acted by the troupe. When the storm settles we discover that the storm was caused by Prospero, with the held of his faerie servant, Ariel.
Prospero is stranded on this island with his daughter Miranda. Miranda is played by the young woman I had met in line earlier in the week). On a deserted island her only companions have been her Prospero, Ariel, and Caliban a servant of dubious appearance and character. Everything to frustrate a teenager, and she plays the part to a tee.
Ariel is the outstanding character in a very solid cast. She takes centre stage, even when she is acting in the background. Here part is the most diverse, and requires the most energy and hers never flags.
There are some props that are really interesting, including a giant beer stein that would have made Arnold of Soissons jealous. The music for the show is also really terrific. It includes pan pipes, sounding bowls, stringed instruments, and others. The musicians create great moods through somewhat unconvential instruments.
By the end of the show everything is resolved, although perhaps in unexpected ways. You leave the show in good humour.
Although I didn’t get any show reccommendations while waiting for this show, I did run into people I haven’t seen in years. ln some cases almost 20 years. It was good to make reconnections. That’s another Fringe fringe benefit.
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