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The Tempest | Drayton Arms Theatre

We all know the story of The Tempest, the classic Shakespeare story set on an island where

a wronged magician called Prospero lives with his daughter Miranda. One day, Prospero

conjures up a storm which drives a ship to the island, in an attempt to undo something that

has happened to him in the past. It is a show about power and control, like a lot of Shakespeare’s works, but it is also about forgiveness. As many of the characters find

themselves imprisoned on the island, including Prospero himself, they come to find that

forgiveness is the one freedom they each possess.

As this show has been done and performed many times, it was difficult to imagine how a

performance could be surprising. But boy was I glad to be proven wrong, even within the first few seconds. The company used classic techniques of physical theatre throughout, using a bare minimum of props to tell their story. In just 14 rehearsals, this collective has achieved something most people would only dream of, and they have put on a successful ensemble piece.

As mentioned by the brilliant director of the piece, Anna Blackburn, just like their

characters, the ensemble will spend the show stuck on the island, making this piece a true

work of endurance for each and every one of them. But they tackle it so effortlessly and

really make use of each other for support, demonstrating how working together can create a

beautifully dynamic piece that they are all proud of.

Shakespeare’s plays often come with their own challenges. The lack of stage directions for

one, leaving complete creative freedom to each who tackle his oeuvres. That can easily

make or break a show, and this company have made a performance worthy of the name.

Another is the language. I have personally witnessed many a Shakespearean play where

the actors would rush through their lines or forget words, making the show completely

incomprehensible. However, this ensemble has an eloquence that would easily be the envy

of many professional actors. Not to mention their energy, each ensemble member putting

their heart and soul into their performance. Specifically, Lauren McIntyre (Caliban), Chloe

Chaffin (Miranda) and Sarah Carvalho (Stephano), who arguably have some of the hardest

roles in the show, but each delivered such magnificent performances.

With minimal sets and props, this company have put together a performance they should all

be proud of – one that will sit in this reviewer’s mind as one of the best Shakespeare

productions to this date. Burnt Orange Theatre's production of The Tempest completed its run on 27th April, however, they will also be bringing their production of Constellations to Drayton Arms Theatre from 1st May until 4th May - for more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


Gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography provided by Burnt Orange Theatre Company


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