Work experience students Zemirah and Beatrice review The Berry Theatre's Shakespearience 2016 performance of The Tempest.
Shakespearience: The Tempest was a great adaptation of the original Shakespeare play, and I enjoyed seeing how the director had decided to change it, and what parts she wanted to stay the same. I enjoyed seeing additions of more modern things, like a Pac Man concept when Alonso and Gonzalo are searching for food on the island, because it added a comedic and relatable aspect to the old play. The director split the character of Ariel into several parts, which I quite liked, as it allowed more emphasis on certain lines, or in particular movements. With multiple Ariels, things could happen at the same time on opposite sides of the stage, which is something which a single person couldn’t do, but you would imagine that a spirit could. The soundtrack was well put together, and included popular songs (minus the lyrics) as cues, so that the audience would know that a group of characters were about to interact, or to let us know that the Ariels were about to use their magic. I think that I would recommend the show to others; however, if the play was being put on for a second time, I think that audience members should come to the show with at least a small understanding of the plot, otherwise the old English might confuse people, and the extra understanding would make it easier to follow.
To read Zemirah's full review click here
Thursday’s Shakespearience performance was extremely dramatic and over the top which made it really exciting to watch. It was definitely what I was expecting because I had helped out on Tuesday with the set and seen a few minutes of the start of the technical rehearsal. In my opinion, I think that there could have been some dance sections although it is a drama based show, dance could have brought even more effect to the stage. What I found amazing was how they all remembered their lines of by heart; it was Shakespearean language which must have been so hard to remember. I feel like the light and sound had a big impact on me as a part of the audience especially when the Ariel’s opened the drawers in the office and the whole stage went dark but the colored lights in the drawers looked so effective and pretty. I think some of the sound effects were strange choices for a Shakespearean play and sometimes using the same sounds got a little repetitive throughout the show. However it was very clear to me that from the music they played such as John Legend, All of Me and Sia, Elastic Heart shows that they hadn’t copied The Tempest story at all, they made their own interpretation of a modernized Shakespeare production which helped me understand the moral of the story more. Considering they were only ages around thirteen and fourteen, they were all incredible at acting and I would recommend it to other people. My favorite part of the performance was at the end when Prospero set his Ariel’s free and they all came back on stage dancing, waving glow sticks in the air and had funky music playing in the background.
I also liked how the Ariel’s had wheels on their shoes because it gave me the idea as a part of the audience that they were magical which I thought was a great way of connecting with the audience. I really enjoyed watching The Tempest performance and I would recommend it.
To read Beatrice's full review click here