The Tempest – again (Sheffield Lyceum, 23rd April 2009)

Having seen this Baxter Theatre/RSC production in Stratford (Courtyard Theatre), I was really keen to see it in a different playing space. The proscenium arch theatre in Sheffield did present a very different viewing experience, but none of exceitement I felt when I saw the production in February was lost.

In a proscenium arch theatre, the audience are separated from the performance. It is like watching a framed picture and as you are aware of rows of the backs of other members of the audience in front of you there isn’t that sense of being really close to the action, but feeling at a distance from the actors, dancers and musicians. In Sheffield the house lights are down, whereas in Stratford they were up so there was much more sense of being aware that the actors could see you and were responding to you.

At Sheffield, I was much more aware of the changing colours. The strong green and blue backgrounds contrasted with the very dark backgrounds when Caliban was on stage. I hadn’t really seen this in Stratford. In Stratford, I watched the performance from several different angles. In Sheffield all the action was in front of me. The action is much more contained on a proscenium arch stage. In Stratford the sea serpent and the mariners use the whole stage, which means they are surrounded by the audience. The Sycorax puppet enters from different parts of the theatre making it very magical.

I felt the production worked well in the different space, but it does highlight how the Courtyard stage draws the audience in and how close you are to the actors and action.

Reviews and Previews (Updated List).

The Tempest at the RSC Courtyard, Stratford – T…
The Tempest: How a legend of African theatre wa…
Antony Sher and John Kani to Star in RSC’s The …
BBC NEWS Programmes Andrew Marr Show Vide…
news.google.com
The Tempest whips up a storm Metro.co.uk
SA Tempest triumphs as it takes the UK by storm
The Tempest, Courtyard, Stratford
Othello, W…

Antony Sher on The Tempest, Stratford – Telegraph
Theatre review: The Tempest / Courtyard theatre…
Luke’s enjoying some Bard times (From Elmbridge…
The Tempest at Courtyard Theatre, Stratford – r…
The Weston Mercury – The Tempest at Bath
The Tempest, Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-up…
Capturing the magic – Sheffield Telegraph
The Tempest: Full of spectacle and zest, it wil…
The Tempest at Courtyard, Stratford – Times Online
RSC storming back to city after decade with Tem…
Tempest gets a blast of sunshine – Coventry Tel…
She(e)r passion – Mail & Guardian Online: The s…
Tonight – More Shaka than Shakespeare
Antony Sher on The Tempest, Stratford – Telegraph
Curtain goes up on region’s must-see shows – Yo…
The Tempest – Review (From Wimbledon Guardian)
Out of Africa, Shakespeare with the stars and a…
The Tempest, Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-…
Antony Sher on The Tempest, Stratford – Telegraph
The Times – Sir Antony Sher: Actor/writer/direc…
The Stage / Reviews / The Tempest
Theatre review: The Tempest / Courtyard, Stratf…
FT.com / UK – The Tempest
The Tempest: Why the RSC got it wrong – Feature…
The Tempest whips up a storm Metro.co.uk
Theatre Review (Stratford-on-Avon): The Tempest…
The Leamington Observer – Tempest to an African…
Tonight – Stepping out from under dad’s shadow
Kani’s Caliban bids for freedom (From Your Loca…
Review of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s The T…
The Stage / Reviews / The Tempest
A stormy Knight in Richmond (From Epsom Guardian)
The Tempest, Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-…
BBC NEWS Entertainment Arts & Culture She…
The Tempest : Whatsonstage Midlands

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