After a magical storm destroys a ship carrying the King of Naples and his court, everyone is separated assuming the others have perished. The King’s son Ferdinand discovers the island’s inhabitants Prospero and Miranda, immediately falling for her and becoming Prospero’s slave to keep her favour. The King and his followers search for Ferdinand but are subdued by enchantments while two of his party plot the King’s demise. All the while, two women of the King’s court get drunk off the ship’s wine and fall in with Prospero’s slave Caliban who wants power over the island.
Everything seemed to come together perfectly for this opening night performance. A stormy afternoon that slowly cleared as the play progressed provided the backdrop audiences saw which mirrored the actions on stage. As in many of Shakespeare’s plays, there is one character at the helm manipulating the rest of the characters. For The Tempest, it is Prospero’s fairy Ariel. Shakespeare’s fairies are some of the most eccentric and interesting characters of all his plays, and Ariel is no different. Jennifer Lines beautifully came to life as the lively and aggressive yet sometimes timid Ariel. She had a spritely singing voice that emanated both her power and her feebleness, depending on the scene.
One of the highlights for me in the play were the two women (Luisa Jojic and Naomi Wright) and their interactions with Caliban (Todd Thomson). They’re synchronized dances and their comedic timing kept everyone laughing and engaged throughout the play.
Bard on the Beach is known for their minimal sets but it inspired imagination in the audience and allowed for the fanciful costumes and props to come to the fore. With quick lighting changes and the musicians on stage throughout the play, The Tempest seemed both intimate and tremendous.
For a very enjoyable evening, I would recommend an outing to see The Tempest. For tickets, go here.