The Tempest … Voldemort aka Prospero aka Shakespeare

When I went: 10 September 2011

Music Owl Hoot rating: 3/5

Location: Theatre Royal Haymarket, London

Performers: Ralph Fiennes (Prospero), Nicholas Lyndhurst (Trinculo), Clive Wood (Stephano)

Creative team: Trevor Nunn (director), William Shakespeare (play)

Approximate price: £60

Special points: Tragicomedy, ambiguity

Best bit: Ending monologue

If I could change one thing: More light and shade


The play:

The Tempest can be a difficult play to enjoy, partially because it is light on plot and heavy on the character studies, which means that fine acting is required. It is often categorised as a ‘tragicomedy’ as it is hard to box it into an easy ‘type’ of play.

This performance:

I have always enjoyed celebrity Shakespeare (see also Much Ado about Nothing). Ralph Fiennes was undoubtedly impressive as Prospero, although the fact that he is now immediately recognisable as Voldemort was a little unnerving, especially when Prospero seemed to symbolically morph into Shakespeare himself with the words of the final monologue. Nicholas Lyndhurst also provided top comedic support as Trinculo.

Although I enjoyed parts of the play, it was hard to grip onto it enough to feel fully engaged; something maybe in the direction prevented me from immersing myself completely and being swept away.


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