Review: Taking Flight Theatre presents William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Review: Taking Flight Theatre presents William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

We’ve
been very keen to catch a Taking Flight production ever since we met
them at Chapter Arts this year during the Get Creative Weekend. The
Tempest has been on my radar ever since I saw it advertised at
Chapter, so I couldn’t wait to attend and review the show!

I’ve
also been very keen to see more immersive theatre, especially with
George and Molly. I think it’s completely different to traditional
theatre, and it completely takes you out of your comfort zone as a
member of the public.

We
assembled at their box office and received wrist bands for the
duration of the performance. There were lots of photo opportunities,
so of course we took full advantage of this…
When
it was time, we followed the crew and sailed to the first scene. The
story follows Prospero, who, after being shipwrecked with his
daughter Miranda, vows to avenge the betrayal bestowed upon them from
his brother, Antonio. But will his plan run as smoothly as he hopes?
I
really loved how warmly we were welcomed by Prospero performed by
Dean Rehman. Rehman is a very talented man, both Warren and I really
enjoyed his performance. He had the right amount of confidence,
humour and an abundance of performing talent. He really stood out and
I felt his powerful presence during the whole performance as he acted
as Prospero.
Ariel
(Milton Lopes) was also fantastic, his performance was very soothing,
his spoken voice perfect for the Shakespearean language. He seemed to
just ooze the presence of Ariel, a powerful and playful spirit. 
 
The
costumes were phenomenal, with lots of colour and texture (I love
textures!) and the use of the ‘Island Studios Sound Effects Machine’
was such a lovely touch. I loved the explanations of each sound
effect, and even though certain elements brought humour to the crowd,
they were also pretty magical and inspiring. We love creating musical
sounds from weird and wonderful objects and I think this is something
George and Molly would love to develop now they’ve seen other
examples.

I
love how the play has been developed into a 1920’s setting, it worked
well, especially with the likes of Stephano
(Samuel Bees) and Trinculo (Huw Blainey). They were absolutely
hilarious, a bit like Rosencrantz
and Guildenstern, offering light-hearted
and humorous elements to the show. Warren loved Huw Blainey on the piano and mic, he really entertained and we both felt he was super talented!
 
Ioan
Gwyn was very impressive as Ferdinand, his acting was strong and his
performance powerful as he did his best to refrain from the advances
of Miranda. I loved how he read the Shakespearean lines with such
passion and precision. Miranda (Steph Back) was also very wonderful
on stage, and Steph Back and her interpreter worked seamlessly
together without any confusion.
I
really loved the inclusion of British Sign Language, Sami Thorpe
created words with her whole body and alongside this she added
emotion and a performance that entranced us all.
I
loved the location of the performance, out in the wild and windy air
(we had good weather!), it felt freeing and allowed George and Molly
to move freely instead of being tied to a seat for 2 hours. The layout and route around the park was a lot of fun, and the props and scenes were beautifully bold and rich with colour.
I do
think there is a bit of an issue with the public, often I saw people
join us who hadn’t bought a ticket/wristband, so maybe segregating
part of the park off for the performance would prevent this from
happening? Sometimes sound was
lost depending on where we ere sat, so I’d suggest staying together
as a tight group with the other members of the audience. 
 
The
music and song elements were big winners for George and Molly, they
loved singing and dancing along. At first they were a little
restless, I think the moving around and language confused them
somewhat, but after a while they just went with it and embraced it.
They too liked all the quirky elements of the show, especially the
sound effects. There’s also plenty of space for children to roam if
they do get a little restless, and each member of the cast acted in a
kind, gentle and sometimes humorous way towards all the children.
I
think it’s fantastic to introduce my children to the diversity of
life within theatre (and beyond) and Taking Flight Theatre amazed me
with its abundance of talent, individuality and heart.
The
Tempest will be performed next on Sunday 18th
June, a perfect Father’s Day gift, wouldn’t you say? Check out
Chapter’s website for more information.

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