Reviews are in for The Tempest at the Ustinov Studio at Theatre Royal Bath.
Deborah Warner’s production stars Nicholas Woodeson (The Mirror and the Light, Death of a Salesman, The Audience) as Prospero, alongside Dickie Beau (Bohemian Rhapsody) as Ariel, Tanvi Virmani (Romeo and Juliet) as Miranda and Edward Hogg (Taboo) as Caliban.
Completing the cast are Gary Sefton (Stephano), William Chubb (Gonzalo), Stephen Kennedy (Trinculo), Pierro Niel-Mee (Ferdinand), Derek Hutchinson (Alonso), Natalie Winsor (Francisca), Finbar Lynch (Antonio) and Luke Mullins (Sebastian).
Set on an enchanted island Shakespeare’s last play deals with magic, love, treachery, transformations, transmutations, the visible and the invisible.
The Tempest, by William Shakespeare, is the first production in Deborah Warner’s inaugural season as Artistic Director of the Ustinov Studio in Bath.
The Tempest runs until 6 August 2022 at the Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath.
"Deborah Warner’s grimy island engrosses and disgusts"
"The veteran director’s arrestingly visceral production honours the sheer strangeness of Shakespeare’s late play"
"Nicholas Woodeson is sideways casting for Prospero. One of British theatre’s unsung heroes, he’s a witty character actor too rarely cast as top banana."
"Cerebral and always vocally lucid, the production is in some ways puritanical, with a distrust – even disgust – for the body’s baser impulses."
"A touch of opera gives Deborah Warner’s Shakespeare real magic"
"Nicholas Woodeson’s Prospero .. doesn’t hit a false note"
"In a flawless cast, Stephen Kennedy’s Trinculo and Gary Sefton’s Stephano supply the hearty comic interludes. All in all, it’s a pleasure to hear verse delivered with such clarity."
"Deborah Warner's male-dominated production gives an intimate account of Shakespeare's late play"
"Nicholas Woodeson, 72, gives us a dowdy, shifty, slightly professorial Prospero, albeit book-less, who initially combines acidity with flashes of spleen."
"Whatever the slight frustrations, it’s heartening to see work on this scale (a cast of 14) staged away from London, and blessed with a clarity of utterance."
"Deborah Warner’s inaugural season – thanks to the pandemic – been a long time coming. But the opening show of her tenure as the theatre’s artistic director, a punkish version of The Tempest, is worth the wait."
"Ultimately, this is a production that’s most interesting in a slightly remote intellectual way, rather than emotionally overpowering. But its multi-layered cleverness and sideways-on approach to Shakespeare and traditionalism offer much to be admired"
"Multi-dimensional Shakespeare classic overpowered by comedy"
"An evocation of magic that falls short of enchantment in Deborah Warner's Ustinov Studio debut"
"Dickie Beau, as Ariel, is undeniably one of the stars of the show"
"The comic scenes are superbly done, the actors pitch perfect, and very funny indeed. "