The Tempest - Review

The Tempest - Review

Evening Post, 31 March 2012

Charming version of classic tale
Saturday, March 31, 2012South Wales Evening PostFollow
I've seen a lot of Shakespeare plays recently. But this was the first time that I'd seen any of his characters chased around the stage by eight year olds to the Benny Hill theme tune!

Shakespeare's The Tempest, the immortal tale of the exiled magician Prospero, was directed by Jill Williams and James Scanell, and was performed twice in one night by a staggering 93 members of the Class Act Theatre School.

Both versions contained some alterations to the original, mainly for ease of understanding and modernisation, but all without dumbing down and deviating too much from the original text.

The first half, performed by members with an average age of eight, was one of the most heart-warming pieces of theatre that I'd seen in a long time. The children achieved in 30 minutes what many classically-trained actors fail to do in three hours to present a Shakespearean play in a clear, fun, and charming way, while still maintaining the integrity of the original.

The older group had a tough act to follow, but started their performance in spectacular fashion with the tempest itself, in which the entire theatre became a part of the ill-fated vessel. Along with a star-in-the-making performance from Prospero, they produced a more faithful, if less charming, rendition of the same tale. A triumph, and a lot of fun.

Mark Rees

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