*** Theatre fans in the Karmiel/Misgav region of Lower Galilee, Israel please note: The opening matinée performance of The Tempest is at the Beit Nir Theatre, Zichron Yaacov on Sunday 03 April at 4.00 pm. Tickets/car pooling arrangements are available from Brian Fink. Contact him via: firstname.lastname@example.org.
An opinion piece penned by him and published in early January by Israel’s Ynet News, emphasises how this year’s celebrations marking the quadricentennial of Shakespeare’s death are a chance to celebrate his continuing influence on international modern society and culture.
Staff at the Israeli universitites of Haifa and Tel Aviv must have had this in mind when they decided that their 2016 spring term English Literature curriculum would include The Tempest – believed to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote alone.
An introduction by Grantly Marshall, Producer at the American Drama Group Europe:
Shakespeare’s last great masterpiece,
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, our little lives are rounded with a sleep”. Shakespeare takes us on a dreamlike journey into the heart of the human condition.
“Briefly the story centres on a magician, Prospero, exiled on a remote island with his daughter by his scheming brother. His old enemies are washed ashore in a storm (or tempest) that he conjures from the skies. Prospero has to choose between revenge and forgiveness. But his plans are undermined by the beast he civilised and then enslaved: Caliban. As Caliban mounts a murderous rebellion and Prospero’s daughter falls in love with the son of her father’s enemy, the play reaches a thrilling climax.
“TNT brings its unique style to bear on The Tempest. Mixing music with theatrical magic, dynamic physicality with a careful attention to text, clowning and poetry. The production is directed by Paul Stebbings whose Shakespeare productions have been seen around the globe over the last twelve years. The score by noted composer John Kenny will be performed live by the actors. Too often productions of Shakespeare’s greatest works are undermined by simplifications and directors or designers obscure interpretations. TNT seeks to illuminate the text rather than interpret it, to allow the audience into the play and tell its story with clarity - and theatricality. We hope you will join us for a this epic voyage iinto the heart of the greatest of all dramatic storms: The Tempest.”
The play is also among my personal favourites because, as ever, I am first seduced by the power of the poetry, that is at once majestic and mystical and then by the essential nobility of the chief characters, despite any hubristic flaws. To listen, for example, to the late British actor, John Gielgud reciting Prospero’s farewell speech is akin to drowning in honey!
Now as director Paul Stebbings and his talented team at ADG Europe-TNT Theatre Britain return for another tour, Israeli audiences have an opportunity to see a cracking production of The Tempest at five different venues countrywide.
The tour opens with a slightly curtailed matinée - to accommodate younger theatre fans – followed by an evening performance at Zichron Yaacov ‘s Beit Nir Theatre on Sunday 03 April.
What a shame that Mr Cameron is unaware that Israelis intend that this production of The Tempest should ‘blow in’ a strong dialogue between Jewish and Arab students. They saw this happen with previous ADG-TNT shows and now, they add, “let's make it happen again with The Tempest!”
© Natalie Wood (10/12 January 2016)