The Tempest

Norwich Playhouse

“You taught me language; and my profit on't is, I know how to curse”.

What a depressing thought. But this was the key note for AJTC's earthbound vision of Shakespeare's metaphysical storm.

The show opens in a squalid room, with two sleeping men: an elderly patient and his nurse.

After the shipwreck sequence was played on the radio, the invalid woke up and raved, his nurse joined in and we were pitched into the world of collective delusional fantasy.

The two actors then played all the roles. Characters were shrugged on and off with a gesture, a swift costume change, or a prop to varying effect: Prospero, the master magician who governs the elements, had a stick and a mouldy old dressing gown; the beast Caliban was signified with a baseball cap; and his drinking companions Trinculo and Stephano were Punch the puppet and Humpty Dumpty.

Clearly the intention here was to show man's inability to be anything more than mortal and beastly.

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