Review: Shakespeare’s The Tempest is a sell-out show

The Tempest at Lakeside Arts Centre seeks to embrace the cultural significance of Black History Month. Bilimankhwe International Theatre’s production of the classic tragic comedy brings together both humour and despair to create a diverse and cultural adaptation of Shakespeare’s play.

Last Friday night, there was much anticipation before the start of Lakeside’s production of Shakespeare’s tragic comedy, The Tempest. Indeed, it was a modern play, significant for embracing Black History Month, and appropriately used the most out of the cast members and their culture. It was definitely a sell-out show and the audience’s anticipation did not fail to reflect the excitement both onstage and offstage.

The embracing of Black History Month was most apparent with the use of choreography and music, which was used to the right amount of theatrical effect. The clever use of dance and music brought together the thrilling atmosphere of the storm, along with remarkable special effects and lighting.

The use of scenery was also used to great effect, as the setting of a lone island was represented onstage by sand coloured floors, rocks and bamboo. This was the perfect setting for a range of scenes that were presented on the stage: from the conflicting desires of Miranda and her father in contrast to the comedic (and very drunken!) subplot. All in all, the scenes conveyed variance in order to depict the tragic comedy seamlessly, with much humour for the audience to enjoy.

The comic relief was indeed very light-hearted and funny, proving the show to be relevant to the modern audience. Conversely, the darker theme of the father and daughter conflict between Miranda and Prospero tugged to the audience’s hearts. Even through expressing serious aspects in the play, it evidently showed that the audience can enjoy it as a comedy.

Overall, The Tempest was definitely an innovative piece worth seeing. Whilst some of the additions were more questionable than others, it excelled in delivering a truly unique and worthwhile interpretation of a theatrical classic.


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