01/02/2008 - 23/02/2008
The isle is full of noises…
An island in the middle of nowhere. Prospero and his daughter have been stranded for 12 years and he is now an expert in ancient magic. When a ship full of his old enemies appears he will stop at nothing to wreak his revenge – while trying to preserve the next generation from their terrible history.
Shakespeare’s final nautical comedy is brought to you this summer in an 80-year-old sea scout hall just 10 minutes drive from Auckland’s city centre.
Peripeteia (Cymbeline @ The Dogs Bollix and Silo) return with another flip-a-coin production which promises unpredictability, laughter, tears, and a top-quality night out. Arrive early, cast the play and be part of a truly unique performance – no night is the same!
"This is theatre the way Shakespeare intended it" – Imogen Neale, The Lumiere Reader
The Hawke Sea Scout Hall
West End Road
Cox’s Bay (opposite Cox’s Bay Park)
1st – 23rd February
Tuesday – Saturday @ 8pm
Sundays @ 5pm
*no performances Mondays or Thursday 14th & 21st
Tickets $20 full /$15 concession or group 6+
phone: 09 378 7878
Arthur Meek (The Hollow Men)
Madeleine Hyland (Cymbeline, Othello)
Trygve Wakenshaw (The Magic Chicken, The Mystery of Irma Vep)
Brooke Williams (The Crucible)
Jacob Tamaiparea (Taki Rua)
Colleen Davis (Angels in America)
Daniel Mainwaring (Cymbeline)
Frank Brown (The God Boy)
Kate Simmonds (Rumplestilts)
Laurel Devenie (Chapman Tripp Nominee for The Graduate)
Stuart Devenie (Hatch)
and Sylvia Rands (Such Sweet Thunder)
Innovative exciting theatre ahoy!
Review by Nik Smythe 07th Feb 2008
The staging of this nautical tale by the sea at twilight in the maritime trappings of the Cox’s Bay Sea Scout Hall is nothing short of inspired, right down to the sax player serenading the setting sun as the audience settles. Decked out with beer crates and tea chests for tables and chairs, assorted chimes and screeds of white muslin, the audience is placed not so much in the round as right in amongst it all.
Famously his last work and supposed by many to be autobiographical, the Tempest must surely be Shakespeare’s darkest comedy. A royal contingent are shipwrecked on a remote island, by the magical powers of Prospero, who inhabits the island with his daughter Miranda, his deformed slave Caliban, and Ariel, an ethereal spirit who at Prospero’s command scatters the ship’s passengers and crew about the island.
It becomes apparent that Alonso the king of Naples and Prospero’s own brother Antonio were originally responsible for Prospero’s residence on the island, having 12 years earlier connived to depose him from his rightful position as Duke of Milan. With Ariel’s help, Prospero exacts some revenge by way of a range of sadistic pranks against his traitorous enemies.
Meanwhile the pure young Miranda meets the gallant Prince Ferdinand and they fall in love, while elsewhere on the island Caliban teams up with Trinculo the jester and Stephano the drunken butler and they plot to overthrow Prospero. These and other devious plots culminate in a rude awakening at Prospero’s hand and justice is ultimately restored.
One of the tricky things about reviewing any theatre is that no two nights are ever precisely the same. Peripetia’s Tempest compounds that issue by having a differently arranged cast every night. Each actor shares two roles with another; who plays which is determined by coin tosses ten minutes before the play begins.
Thus, probably, no two performances are the same. So, as well as appreciating many of the turns in this Waitangi Day performance, I’m left intrigued as to how each character’s counterpart would have handled the role, and how the various relationships might play out between different combinations. [If you have witnessed a different configuration please tell us about it via ‘post a comment’ at the end of this review. Also read Shannon Huse’s NZ Herald review – link below.]
Sylvia Rands’ Prospero appropriately commands the space with serious philosophical compassion. As Miranda, the story’s only definite female, Daniel Mainwaring presents a rather stereotypical fragile damsel in falsetto, a bit on the whiney side. Though to be fair, he thankfully doesn’t attempt to make the comedy meal of his drag act that others might be tempted to.
Caliban the filthy grotesque is strongly expressed through Colleen Davis’s gruff portrayal. Brooke Williams as Ariel, face and torso shrouded in translucent muslin, is ghostly and compelling; a theatrical triumph combining her vocal capabilities, nimble athleticism, and an ingenious series of white-sheet hammocks strung across the hall’s rafters by which the loyal spirit travels.
In the ship’s party, Alonso King of Naples is played altogether perfunctorily by Jacob Tamaiparea. Stuart Devenie convincingly evokes the harrowing journey of Alonso’s counselor Gonzalo as his voice of reason is tested to the limit. Madeleine Hyland’s villainous Antonio teams up with Laurel Devenie’s Sebastian (Alonso’s brother), playing it like a vaudeville double act, although with appreciably subtle class. Kate Simmonds covers a few smaller parts, not least the salty hard-bitten ship’s master, the kind of old bugger you’d want commanding your ship in a violent storm.
Romantic lead Prince Ferdinand (Arthur Meek) is handsome, dignified and truly romantic without being mawkish as he woos Miranda with heartfelt poetry, and her protective father with unbending loyalty that he may give them his blessing to wed.
As in many Shakespeares the comic relief characters are major highlights. Frank Brown’s opportunistic butler Stephano is simply hilarious as he delivers his sardonic drunken British wit with the classic stiff upper lip. The irrepressible Trygve Wakenshaw (who also lends his shadow puppetry skills to the amusingly presented tale of Isis and Ceres), charms in his role as gangly French jester Trinculo, and even had audience members laughing their heads off as he swept the stage clean during the interval with his unsurpassed slapstick abilities.
Unfortunately I managed to lose my programme, so cannot recall which actors share the performances I saw. I do recall the only credits were the cast, and a list of acknowledgments; no director or designer credits, which indicates to me the acting company have put it all together themselves. Tailored for multiple viewings, Peripieteia’s The Tempest is innovative and exciting theatre. Bravo!
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Passion and talent vie with length and distractions
Review by Shannon Huse 07th Feb 2008
In a charming little boat shed on stilts a troupe of Shakespearean players are wrestling with his "revenge comedy" – The Tempest.
They put up a good fight taking a traditional yet fresh approach to the play. With the smell of sea on the air and the sun setting outside the venue provides a perfect briny atmosphere. Many magic moments are created as the players plot revenge, fall in love, fool around and right historic wrongs.
But over the course of 2 1/2 hours the big play beats them. It’s too long, too dense and without the crowd-pleasing speeches of Shakespeare’s other great plays, the players are lost in a seas of words like little corks on a stormy sea. [More]
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