Review: The Tempest

It is seldom in one’s life when one sees a production so improved from the original as to be a masterpiece in and of itself. The production of “The Tempest”, as acted by Divisions One and Four of Queen Elizabeth Elementary, achieves this heady feat.

The sumptuous venue for the occasion was the ever-odourous gym. The venerable velvet curtains were spotted with age, and the audience sat on the floor. Wild excitement gripped the crowd of avid theatregoers as Mrs. Watts, the principal, turned off the overhead lights.

Under the dual direction of veterans Mrs. Thurber and Mr. Watts, the cast brings the play to life with fresh, revisionist feeling.  Caliban, no longer fettered as half-man-half-fish, breathes again as  four-foot tall Joseph Hong, lately of Taiwan. Prospero, often played as cruel and calculating, shows a new, kinder side, played by Ashley McManus, whose breaking voice added to the protagonist’s pathos. Ariel, so often seen as an airy thing, full of light and shadow, was cunningly reworked by the assiduous acting of Mike Obermeyer, whose enthusiastic swooping of his gauzy wings almost took out Stephano’s eye at one point. The sailors, sometimes eclipsed by the other members of the cast, were easily the best part. Twelve-year-old Moonsung Han remembered all her lines and
didn’t drop her sword.

This critic was prompted to stand up and shout with pride.

3 Comments to “Review: The Tempest”

  1. By Deb, June 15, 2006 @ 11:07 pm

    This sounds like Shakespeare as it was meant to be performed!

  2. By Zen, June 16, 2006 @ 1:06 am

    Was there at least ONE pixie on those heel roll-ie shoes?

    Ever since I saw Oberon as a six-foot-three bald black man on rollerskates, playing a bass, Shakespeare just hasn’t been the same.

  3. By Liz, June 16, 2006 @ 12:42 pm

    Deb, it was a performance Shakespeare would have loved to see, I’m pretty sure. And my student’s comment when it was all over? “That was so scary I thought I would throw up. I want to do it again!” I think she might just be an actress!

    Zen, no roller shoes-although it would have been fun to see them. Or the lighting-up ones. That Oberon sounds fantastic. He would be a bass player as well. The right personality and all.

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