Play Review: The Tempest "The Tempest", a tale of spirits and Kings. A tale of lies and backstabs. The play starts out with a huge wreck of a King's ship, King Alonso. When the survivors finally realize where they are they are put into a trance by Ariel, a magical spirit of Prospero. Prospero is a magician on an enchanted island. This is the island the King's shipwrecked into. He has a daughter named Miranda who he puts to sleep with a magical spell. He did this because Miranda was upset by the wreck and worried for the survivors. Ariel comes to the King to tell him of the entrancement and that he has taken care of Prince Ferdinand, son of King Alonso. Ariel becomes upset and complains about his duties but is reminded by Prospero that he must work to be released of the magical imprisonment of the tree trunk.
The deceased witch who used to live on the island cast this imprisonment unto Ariel.
Prospero reveals to the then awaken Ariel that he was once the Duke of Milan. He was banished from Milan and sent away with Miranda in a small boat. The reason he was banished was for the study of magic over government. His brother, Antonio, had him thrown off with a little help from King Alonso. While on the boat they ran into the island and Prospero continued to practice his magic for years to come. Prospero decided to create a storm and have it bring all of his foes to his island. When the ship arrives Prospero sends Caliban, his slave and son of the late witch, to go get some wood. He was enslaved for trying to rape Miranda after being taken in by Prospero after his mother's death. Caliban leaves and Ariel returns with Ferdinand. Miranda sees Ferdinand and becomes intrigued by the sight of a man her age. Prospero realizes that they will fall in love but still acts very stern and strict with the young prince. He decides to imprison him. Miranda begs for his release.
Gonzalo, one of Prospero's old friends tries to tell King Alonso by telling him that the prince is alive and well. Ariel appears and puts Gonzalo and the King to sleep. While they sleep Antonio and Sebastion, the King's brother, conspire to kill the two sleeping men. Ariel again intervenes and wakes the sleeping men up before Antonio and Sebastion can go through with their plan.
Meanwhile Caliban is gathering wood and comes across Trinculo. He tries to hide but Trinculo sees him. It is very apparent that Trinculo is not a bright man. He hears a little lightning and thunder and jumps under Caliban's coat making them look like some evil monster. While this is happening Stephano, another survivor of the wreck, appears. Stephano looks at the two and immediately tries to curry favor with the beast. Trinculo comes out from the cloak and celebrates the reunion with Stephano. Stephano, Trinculo, and Caliban take off together drinking and carrying on. In the next scene Ferdinand is moving a pile of logs for Prospero. Miranda goes to talk to him and they both agree to get married after they have professed their love for each other. Prospero hears this conversation and is satisfied. By this time the trio of Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo continue to drink and carry on. Again someone conspires to kill Prospero. Caliban tries to get Stephano to kill the magician. He also wants him to steal his magical books. Prospero is now trying to call a banquet together. Ariel again informs Prospero of the trio's bad intentions and Prospero has them cursed by evil spirits.
Prospero realizes after receiving information from Ariel that his magic has done some very bad things to the cursed people. He decides to have it reversed. He also decides to quit his magic and go back to being the Duke of Milan. When he renounces the magic his victims see him as the Duke. He forgives them for their deeds and they forgive him and acknowledge him as the Duke of Milan. The Duke then tells them about Miranda's engagement to Alonso's son. The King is delighted to see his son alive. The Duke tells them about all of his adventures on the island and calls up one more spell. He tells the wind to blow them back to Milan; sets Ariel free and they lived happily ever after.
" The Tempest" was playing every weekend night for two weeks at Centennial Park. I took in the play Friday, August 22. In my opinion the production of the play was rather poor. First of all I wasn't impressed with the acting, very bland. They didn't make me feel as if I was actually watching the story happen. They made me feel like it was a play put on by actors fighting for a role. I believe a play should put you in the mindset of the story and I'm sorry to say that I wasn't. I would like to make a positive comment on the pre-dinner. It put me back in that time era. A few of the biggest downfalls of the play was probably the stage, the position of the bleachers, and the sound. First of all the audience was way too far from the actors/actresses. A play needs to get you involved and I was too far away to get interested. The audio was kinda shaky as well. It kept resonating, making the dialogue very hard to understand. Don't get me wrong the story is great but the production was obviously hindered by monetary means. I think this made me think less of the play. Like I said before the production was poor. On the other hand I thought that Shakespeare's story was a good one. Not one of his best though. I became quite confused as to what the plays theme was. At first I thought that it might be always right your wrongs. The end of the story makes me think that the theme may be the old adage, " Two wrongs don't make a right". However I do not feel very strongly about either points and I think this along with the production has kind of left me disappointed in Shakespeare's " The Tempest". Every Shakespeare play I've ever saw has always come to a clear message or theme. This one didn't. At least not for me anywise.