Last night, my mum and I went to see Shapespeare’s The Tempest, at The Barbican, in London.
I’m going to put the synopsis from the Royal Shakespeare Company next, because I think it’ll be a bit better than mine:
“On a distant island a man waits.
Robbed of his position, power and wealth, his enemies have left him in isolation. But this is no ordinary man, and this no ordinary island. Prospero is a magician, able to control the very elements and bend nature to his will. When a sail appears on the horizon, he reaches out across the ocean to the ship that carries the men who wronged him. Creating a vast magical storm he wrecks the ship and washes his enemies up on the shore. When they wake they find themselves lost on a fantastical island where nothing is as it seems.”
Yeah. So the play opens on a big ship, caught in a crazy storm, which ends up killing a lot of people, and leaving some stranded on an island.
Basically, from this point I spent most of the rest of the play like:
It’s not that I don’t like Shakespeare – obviously his work is amazing. But after a long week at work, it’s REALLY HARD to understand what they’re talking about, in ye olde English!
The graphics were great, though. The RSC say “In a unique partnership with Intel, we will be using today’s most advanced technology in a bold reimagining of Shakespeare’s magical play, creating an unforgettable theatrical experience.”
And they do not disappoint. This brought some 21st century technology to an otherwise old story, and made it quite exciting. From the illuminations of a skirt, to the spirit being embodied in digital form from pieces of material hanging from the ceiling – that side of things was very impressive.
The set itself was minimal – this is what it looked like, and it never changed.
Overall, if you like Shakespeare, I’m sure this was really fantastic, but I was just a little confused, for, like, the entire thing, not knowing what was happening.