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The Tempest

May 13, 2015

TheTempestSRT2(Photo Credit: SRT Facebook Page)

Event: “The Tempest” presented by Singapore Repertory Theatre
Venue: Fort Canning Park
Run: 29th Apr – 24th May 2015

Magical Mystery Tour

Truth be told, this is the first time I had attended one of SRT’s “Shakespeare in the Park” productions, and it was quite an experience.

Muggy weather aside, the lovely stage was an enormous one with an entire backdrop resembling an ancient book with what seemed like marine navigational drawings, and when it was lit blue it was just the most beautiful sight.

“The Tempest” is widely believed to be one of the last plays which Shakespeare wrote alone, and probably the only play which he created based not from any other existing texts or stories.

The opening scene depicting the ship being caught in the storm, with the huge blue fabric cascading down from the top of the backdrop, was a joy to behold.

Strong performances abound, with Simon Robson playing an imposing and heroic sorcerer Prospero, and Julie Wee (whom you might recall also played Juliet in the Wild Rice production of “Romeo & Juliet” in 2012) as the beautiful Miranda.

Ann Lek must be lauded too for her spirited (if you’ll pardon the pun) rendition of the sprite Ariel, who not only prances about and runs up and down the hill tirelessly, but also sings marvellously at points in the play.

Other notable mentions in a stellar cast include Timothy Wan as Ferdinand, the love interest of Miranda, as well as the comedic duo of Shane Mardjuki (Trinculo) and Daniel Jenkins (Stephano).

The nature of the story is such that it utilises a great deal of music and choreography, and these scenes added moments of colour and vibrancy to the proceedings.

The acoustics are inevitably dissipated in an open air venue such as Fort Canning Park, and while this is no fault of the production team whatsoever, it was a bit trying having to try and decipher large chunks of the dialogue, especially so with the Shakespearean language.

Nonetheless, it is undeniable that through a delightful mix of lighting, sound, staging and casting, the SRT team has managed to bring out the richness and splendour as is prescribed from a text such as “The Tempest”.

Truly one of the magical ways to spend an evening at Fort Canning Park.

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