When I went: 10 September 2011
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 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.
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.