‘The rarer action is in virtue than in vengeance’
(Prospero: Act vi)
RoughCast Theatre Company’s third production was The Tempest – Shakespeare’slast and most magical play. Apart from the first scene, the play is entirely set upon an island, occupied only by Prospero (the former and deposed Duke of Milan), his daughter Miranda, Caliban (‘the thing of darkness’) and Ariel together with other spirits. Fortune, and the magic of his own ‘art’, brings all of Prospero’s former adversaries to the island and under his control. Prospero now has the opportunity for revenge. How will he act and who will influence his actions?
The play is almost a fairy story, containing romance, rough comedy, music, magic and high drama through an extraordinary array of characters. It is both a fabulous story and a vehicle for exploring such issues as: mercy and forgiveness versus retribution and revenge; freedom versus incarceration; nature versus nurture; the different qualities of life, and death, and; the strength and importance of ‘art’. Despite dealing with complex issues, the play is both immediate and accessible and capable of many interpretations.
‘They say there’s but five upon this isle. We are three of them. It th’other two be brained like us, the state totters’.
(Trinculo; Act IIIii)