Brighton Fringe 2013
My eight year-old was spell-bound and genuinely wide eyed and amazed during the mysteriously evocative scenes in the Tiny Tempest – he belly giggled at the rhythmical clowning and slapstick and didn’t take his eyes off the performers for a moment, not even while munching his Spiegeltent candy floss.
The smooth flowing scene changes and atmospheric devices enabled the audience to be fully enveloped in the magical and supernatural setting for Shakespeare’s last ever play. Vocal delivery was excellent, lively and colourful – lifting the words off the 17th century crackly old paper. The pace was perfectly driven, allowing the audience enough balance between breath and action, inhale and exhale yet the actors worked hard and relentlessly. The characters of Prospero and Trinculo particularly shone out brightly. Prospero is given a freshness and a softness not always seen in other interpretations and drunken Trinculo is an absolute joy to watch, feeling like a tangible touchable character, doubling up deliciously with Stephano. All actors committed fully to their roles, combining lightness with concentrated emotional and physical range. The only female of the group deserved a fun depthy character to explore too. However her gentle understated femininity contrasted nicely with the stormy males roaring around her.
This was the meatiest and most tangible Shakespeare performance I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a fair few) and it blew the dust off my passion for the boldly sculpted characters, complex plots and rich dialogues he is known for.
The direction was fairly slick with attention to detail. The music was brilliant, evocative, soulful, charming and well crafted – wrapping itself in and out and through the scenes and with such consciousness from the performers – they moved as one beast in many exquisite 5 star moments. The different instruments enhanced the characters and dialogue as well as giving atmospheric punctuation. The fight scene was my favourite and I loved moments where the physicality of the plot and characters took over.
This was an almost 5 star show and I’m sure as they continue to work these hard, future performances will be even better. It would be suitable for all the family as the delight of watching the performers takes over the need to always comprehend plot. My son didn’t understand it all but was never fidgeting in his seat (he gave it 4 and a half stars), the whole show was a good length and it’s a great way to introduce children and adults alike to the literary genius of Shakespeare.
The whole piece was professional to the end and a joy to watch. A great start for The Warren and Brighton Fringe 2013. I’d watch it again.