The Tempest at Tolethorpe

Prospero and Ariel.
Prospero and Ariel.
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What a wonderful production of The Tempest Stamford Shakespeare Company is giving audiences this summer.

On Friday evening this reviewer watched Shakespeare’s play about the magician Prospero and his daughter Miranda stranded on an island as a result of his brother’s deceit.

We had the usual, enjoyable prelude, a picnic with friends in the delightful grounds of Tolethorpe Hall, thankfully in dry weather.

We imagined how the sea might be created – a storm hits a ship carrying Prospero’s brother Antonio and Alonso, the king of Naples, the conspirators in the plot against Prospero. In fact, there was no sea; the staging was very simple but highly effective, suggesting rocks and a cave on an island, where all of the action takes place.

There were some very good performances, but some stood out. In particular Prospero, played by Mick Franklin, was impressive, as was his spirit Ariel, his chief magical agent, performed by Tom Johnson, who made a most dramatic and impressive appearance with his enormous black wings, and who could also sing really well.

The Tempest is showing all next week if you can get tickets.

Jean Hodge