Nov. 12th, 2006

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We went and saw The Tempest today, performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

They know how to make a play just plain work, unlike other performances of Shakespeare I've seen. Last time I saw the play, I couldn't really understand it. But this time, it spoke so well as to be clear as day.

Also, the sprite Ariel was played to be very dark, disturbing and creepy - a distinct difference from the usual mischievous spirit he's normally played as. They gave him pale skin and a dark black cloak - he did not walk about the stage so much as sulk and creep about it. He moved slowly and very, very deliberately. And he was genuinely creepy. In the first scene, Prospero opens the door to call Ariel. When he seems not to come, he closes the door - and Ariel is standing behind where the door was a moment ago. Then, much later, a group of survivors from the storm find a dead seal. Desperate for food, they slice into it and get some meat. Then, in a moment of drama and stage magic, Ariel bursts from the seal, his cloak blood red and wearing a ribcage as a vest with entrails draped over his arms. Oh so wonderfully creepy.

Also, Patrick Stewart, here playing Prospero, continues to be a fantastic actor.


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