The Tempest

William Shakespeare
Globe Theatre, Globe On Tour
The Globe Theatre

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Emma Ernest as Ariel Credit: Marc Brenner
Stephenson Ardern-Sodje as Caliban Credit: Marc Brenner
Tom Chapman as Ferdinand and Sara Lessore as Miranda Credit: Marc Brenner

There is an unadventurous, easy-going, mellow mood to the Globe Theatre’s production of The Tempest directed by Brendan O’Hea, even if Ariel (Emma Ernes) appears like some multi-coloured pterodactyl with feathers extending from its hands that look as if they have been dipped in blood. But like all the characters in this performance, Ariel is reassuring. Nothing will hurt anyone and everyone will live happily ever after.

Prospero (Mark Desebrock) is younger than normally portrayed and, though when the text demands he seem a bit threatening he'll adopt a tone of severity, he is quick to return to his more amiable self. No wonder he frightens no one.

As for his daughter Miranda played by Sara Lessore, it is hard to imagine her being phased by a nuclear explosion, even if early on she expresses concern for those shipwrecked off the island.

Stephenson Ardern-Sodje as Caliban avoids the depiction of the character as either a brutal inhuman creature or the noble indigenous native of an island stolen by the colonial settler Prospero. Although speaking his lines with sensitivity to the meaning, he does appear incredibly reasonable, never getting particularly angry or upset.

Colm Gormley is in his element as Trinculo. Having perhaps done time in stand-up comedy, he is playfully relaxed with an engaging humour.

Apart from the usual difficulties of quite catching what characters are talking about in the opening storm sequence (please note Mr. Shakespeare), this is a clear, warm, unprovocative production to ease us back into a world of live theatre.

Reviewer: Keith Mckenna