William Shakespeare’s The Tempest premiered with great reception at St. Catherine’s School March 7th and will continue to show through March 30th.
Local Richmond favorite James Alexander Bond directs this production hailed by the Times Dispatch’s Julinda Lewis as “an action-packed extravaganza that features political espionage, conspiracy and romance.” Also praised for its multilayered comedy, the production covers body odor and drunkenness to the more sophisticated humor that “requires a lengthy set-up or a typically Shakespearean wordplay,” said Lewis.
The Tempest is the story of Prospero, who plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place by using illusion and skilful manipulation. The tempest brings to the island Prospero’s usurping brother Antonio and Alonso, King of Naples after 15 years of being on the island.
The island gives Prospero magical powers and by the time his brother and the king are brought there, Prospero abuses his magical powers and becomes no better than them.
“He has to have an arch, a moral where he realizes something dramatic about himself or the world,” said Bond. “I think our Prospero goes through that.”
The show is set during the turn of the century steampunk era and is just one of the ways Bond has set this version apart from others. “I like that the civilized world is going through a big mechanical world…everything was being invented in a mechanical way,” said Bond. “The island is magic which is the other side of that. So that everything that worked…in the civilized world isn’t what exists on the island.”
Bond was particularly excited to direct the Tempest; though hes directed hundreds of plays, this is his first crack at the Shakespearian classic. “It’s just a really beautiful, rich story. It’s some of his [Shakespeare] best language.”
The play will be filling the theatre with storms, magic, faeries and monsters, and hopes to receive your praise while both making you laugh and see what people are capable of and willing to do for their loved ones.
The Tempest runs until March 30th, Get more info, and buy tickets here.