Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, York – until 1st September 2019
Reviewed by Aimee Liddington
For an exciting, engaging and fully immersive experience of Shakespearean theatre, you must pay a visit to Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre in York. From the minute you enter the Shakespearean Village, you feel transported to another time as you are surrounded by wooden structures with thatched roofs and an Elizabethan garden filled with thriving flowers and herbs. You do not have to wait for the play to start to be entertained either, as there is a variety of entertainment on offer whilst you wait to be seated. The food and drinks are certainly worth a try too – on a warm summer’s evening, it is the perfect place to be.
On first glance of the stage, the simplicity of the set surprised me. The wooden set was understated with just a handful of simple embellishments. While it initially seemed bare, it actually provided the perfect blank canvas to showcase the fabulous costumes on display. Special mention should go to the Costume and Scenic Designer, Adrian Linford, whose vision really fulfilled its purpose. It added to the value of the performance but detracted nothing from the great talent of the actors.
The play itself was intriguing, entertaining and, at times, humorous. When watching Shakespearean theatre, some people get incredibly caught up with trying to understand every single word. In this rendition of The Tempest, the actors played the parts so convincingly that you did not need to worry about that. The trio of Trinculo (played by Christopher Logan), Stephano (played by Peter Moreton) and Caliban (played by Raphael Bushay) provided short bursts of comedy throughout. The actors delivered the lines in a way that kept the charm of the period in which they were written, but also appealed to a modern audience. A review of this play would not be complete without a mention of Ariel (played by Leander Deeny) who, with his agility and nymph-like movements, managed to seamlessly link the scenes together. The chorus of Spirits (played by Ali Azhar, Marilyn Nnadebe, Richie Daysh, Charlyne Francis, Jessica Dennis and Johanne Murdock) added to this and provided the element of wonder and peculiarity that so often appears in Shakespeare’s works.
A timeless classic, performed with immense passion and flair. You need to come to York and experience it for yourself – start your summer fling with Shakespeare without delay!