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Shakespeare 400 - The Tempest

Part of Shakespeare 400 On Screen, presented in association with the University of Ottawa

Shakespeare 400The Tempest is set on a magical deserted island, and fittingly this film captures a performance at the Globe, one of the most magical venues for Shakespeare today. Within the setting for which it was originally written, with spectators visible around the Globe’s thrust stage, this performance emphasizes the elements of listening and eavesdropping, watching and spying, observing and being observed, that ripple throughout the script and place the audience in the role of watching the watchers.

Poser for the Globe Theatre's TempestProspero (Roger Allam) is a magician, but he is also a devoted father, protecting his daughter Miranda (Jessie Buckley) with every natural and supernatural means at his disposal. This is a tender, vulnerable, all too human Prospero whose magical threats sound like the bluster of an overprotective parent, one whose paternal care extends over Ariel (Colin Morgan, gorgeously sulky) as well as the obedient Miranda until both are released with exquisite tenderness.

The splendid Jacobean-style costumes and simple stage effects enhance the impression that this production enables spectators to travel not only across the Atlantic to the Globe, but also back to Shakespeare’s time.

– Kathryn Prince, University of Ottawa

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