|Thursday 03 July 2014 @ 07:00pm : -
Miracle Theatre Company - The Tempest
The Tempest - by William Shakespeare
Freely adapted & directed by Bill Scott with original music by Jim Carey.
This summer Cornwall’s Miracle Theatre celebrates 35 years of producing engaging, inventive and enjoyable theatre by bringing together a team of talented collaborators, past and present, to create a fresh and musical adaptation Shakespeare’s timeless play that will delight audiences of all ages.
Here’s a perfect reason to spend an evening under the stars: a stellar cast of Miracle’s best known actors performing this masterpiece of theatre!
Few comic actors can make an audience laugh uncontrollably merely by their entrance, but Ben Dyson achieves this difficult feat with perfect aplomb.
Not generally known for its jokes, Shakespeare’s final play is taken to a new dimension by Miracle Theatre, which kicked off a 60-date tour at Sterts on Bodmin Moor. The Cornish company’s fiftieth project in 35 years, their production of The Tempest, which will be seen across Cornwall and the wider South West until the end of August, looks set to be another huge success.
Crisp, inventive and very, very funny, the free adaptation may not find favour with Shakespeare purists – whoever they might be – but it will undoubtedly entertain thousands at some 45 open-air venues this summer.
Opening with a pre-show warm-up that sees an athletic Catherine Lake as Ariel clambering atop Alan Munden’s cleverly designed and constructed set, Miracle’s version neatly conveys the early scenes of shipwreck with character puppets of the main protagonists.
Thus, we set sail to Shakespeare’s magical island of Prospero, Miranda and Caliban. Deftly moving between parts are Ciaran Clarke, Hannah Stephens, Simon Norbury, Lisa Howard and, of course, Ben Dyson as Alonso, who has brought such intelligence and humour to more than a dozen previous Miracle shows.
From the moment a shipwrecked Alonso is tossed on to the shore like a large wet fish, we’re off on the sort of well-paced ride fans of this much-loved Cornish company have come to expect.
Adapted, as ever, by Miracle founder Bill Scott, The Tempest has been reduced by a third and trimmed to 11 parts for the six actors. Hannah Stephens conjures a deliciously saucy Miranda; Ferdinand is the first man, other than her father, she has ever encountered – and she going to make the most of it. Ariel is assured, properly mischievous, and a joy to watch, while Ben Dyson delivers another serene performance as Stephano the sailor. Few actors can play drunk with such precision, never quite finding the necessary centre of gravity.
Bill Scott, whose previous adaptations have included Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet and The Taming Of The Shrew, makes no secret of his love of playing with Shakespeare.
“What we always try to do with Shakespeare is make it clear, so that it is watchable and entertaining,” he said. “And adapting Shakespeare is such a joy to do. Hacking away at genius sometimes feels awful but I feel that if he was trying to communicate with a 21st century audience he would be doing similar things with his own work. He would be the last one to want people scratching their heads and wondering what was going on, because he was about entertaining people. For that reason we never trash the plays and are always true to the spirit of the original text.”
A director whose first foray with Miracle was a production of The Ordinalia at Perran Round in 1979, is now beginning work on a winter show, Dr Livingstone, I Presume, as well as planning for an autumn premiere screening Tin.
Perfomance and rehearsal pictures of this year''s production ''The Tempest'' below:
View the embedded image gallery online at:
Booking is advisable: Tickets are £13 and available from the pub or on the gate. Telephone 01929 439229
Miracle Theatre has been touring innovative comic theatre across the UK for 30 years. It is one of Cornwall''s most distinctive voices.
Since it began life in Cornwall in 1979, Miracle Theatre Company has developed a reputation for exciting new writing and popular adaptations of classical works. The shows are witty, highly physical and entertaining and tour to open air venues, theatres and arts centres across the UK.
Miracle''s work is collaborative, bringing together artists, actors, musicians, writers and makers from around Cornwall to create theatre with a unique comic style, a joyful use of language and an immediate visual appeal.
"Lively, inventive and popular, Miracle’s work gives lie to the idea that theatre is a metropolitan activity" - The Guardian
"Even if you do not enjoy theatre, Miracle will blow you away. After just one of their hilariously funny performances you are scanning for the next show." - Audience Feedback
"Professional, exciting, unexpected!" - Audience Feedback