thu 28/05/2020

The Tempest, Little Angel Theatre/ Royal Shakespeare Company | reviews, news & interviews

The Tempest, Little Angel Theatre/ Royal Shakespeare Company

The Tempest, Little Angel Theatre/ Royal Shakespeare Company

A brief, puppet-led encounter makes adults and kids laugh and blub

Parallel worlds: Puppet Caliban (Jonathan Dixon) with human Stephano (Brett Brown)Images © Ellie Kurttz

Puppetry has come a long way in this country. Once considered the domain of children’s theatre only, you’ll now be hard pushed to find a classical production where puppets are not used in some way. For this sea change we have to thank, amongst others, a couple of Canadian geniuses, Ronnie Birkett and Robert Lepage, and - almost single-handedly carrying the torch for puppetry as a grown-up form to be taken seriously in this country - John and Lyndie Wright, founders of the Little Angel Theatre, Islington. With both celebrating their half-centuries this year, Little Angel and the Royal Shakespeare Company have joined forces once again to produce a magical version of Shakespeare’s final play.

Puppetry has come a long way in this country. Once considered the domain of children’s theatre only, you’ll now be hard pushed to find a classical production where puppets are not used in some way. For this sea change we have to thank, amongst others, a couple of Canadian geniuses, Ronnie Birkett and Robert Lepage, and - almost single-handedly carrying the torch for puppetry as a grown-up form to be taken seriously in this country - John and Lyndie Wright, founders of the Little Angel Theatre, Islington. With both celebrating their half-centuries this year, Little Angel and the Royal Shakespeare Company have joined forces once again to produce a magical version of Shakespeare’s final play.

In an age of Doctor Who and Harry Potter, these simpler wooden automations still, it seems, have a magical power all their own

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