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14 August 2013


The Tempest
Shakespeare's Globe
Globe Theatre, London
Wednesday 14th August 2013

Following Kenneth Branagh's rousingly patriotic speech at last year's London Olympics, inspiring Danny Boyle's epic Opening Ceremony, the Globe have chosen to open their summer season with the play from which that inspirational speech originated.  Jeremy Herrin's production focuses on the comedic element of this mystery play, and his direction achieves a fresh feel to this classic Shakespearean story.
Roger Allum brings his deep vocal tones to create a masterful Prospero, with an innate sense of mischief and constant affection for his only daughter.  Miranda is played brilliantly by Jessie Buckley, managing to maintain an innocence and naivete while also displaying a natural allure, her performance is excellently pitched.  Her love interest, Ferdinand - a character often interpreted as simply dull and wet - is given a magnificently funny characterisation by Joshua James in a truly memorable performance.  The traditional comedy pairing of Trinculo and Stephano were slurred and staggered through by Trevor Fox and Sam Cox and Caliban was given an unusually comic yet also creepy interpretation by Globe veteran James Garnon.
The lighthearted effect of the direction worked ideally to generate an enthusastically warm reception from the wet and chilly audience.  An absence perhaps of the potential depth of story of Prospero's history, but this is a script with a huge bredth of interpretation and the comedic effect of this production is no less worthy.

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