The Tempest

May. 8th, 2013 09:40 pm
vanessarama: (happy merlin)
[personal profile] vanessarama
Well, it was wonderful.

Let me begin at e beginning through - the first wonderful thing of the day was meeting the very lovely [livejournal.com profile] mirabile_dictu, who has been a virtual friend for something like a decade now. She is so sweet and bright. So that was a lovely beginning.

We had tickets for the Talking Theatre after the play. Colin wasn't there, but Roger Allam and Jessie Buckley were and they were both awesome. Sadly, although the event was sold out there were a lot of empty seats - I suspect that some fans who had paid for it just didn't bother turning up when they realised Colin wasn't going. A shame, because it was really interesting. There was also a huge clutch of what I suspect were fangirls in the middle back of the room and they were bloody annoying, kept whispering loudly to each other while the actors were talking and one of them even kept yawning and pretending to sleep on her friend's shoulder. More fools them because the session was very good.

Now.

Firstly, everyone was fabulous. Secondly, it was a funny, funny production. In particular, Miranda has always annoyed the hell out of me in previous productions, but Jessie Buckley's Miranda was a stubborn teenage girl and there was a lot of humour to be made out of that, and the relationship between her and Ferdinand was very funny. Ferdinand was also beautifully done - he was a bit pompous and full of himself but he played it so well that you had to like him. (Sorry, my program is across the room and Rohan is asleep and I don't want to disturb him, so I don't have all the actors names to hand). Caliban was also a standout - you felt very sorry for him but just enough and not too much, if that makes sense.

Roger Allam was bloody magnificent. A much more sympathetic Prospero than I have previously encountered. He was very tender with both Miranda and Ariel, and there were touches of tenderness with Caliban too. In the Talking Theatre session, Roger Allam talked about how Prospero, Miranda and Caliban would have been almost like a family unit before the attempted rape of Miranda, and that was something which Caliban may have considered quite normal but which was the shattering of their functional little family.

Colin Morgan as Ariel was superb, which you'd expect me to say, right? :) But he was. He was very much not human - he did this strange blinking thing every now and then as if Ariel wasn't quite sure how to use his eyes. He also watched the other characters in the play constantly with a kind of dispassionate curiosity as if trying to puzzle them out. And he moved with incredible grace and control for someone so tall. The way he moved around the stage, swinging from the scenery, climbing up footholds and handholds in the walls, sometimes climbing along the seating bays - was very graceful and beautiful, as if Ariel really didn't like touching the ground or found it more convenient to be airborne. At one point I suddenly noticed him sitting above the stage and realised he'd probably been there for ages and I hadn't noticed! When he was sitting still he was absolutely still, preternaturally so. During the dances - there were a couple - I kept noticing how gracefully he used his hands.

Colin's singing is probably his weakest point, but he gave it a really good go. His voice is pleasant but not especially strong. His speaking voice was very good - a different accent again to that he used as Merlin, more posh, and his voice very smooth. When he was being the Harpy he was actually pretty frightening. He managed to take part in the comedy without actually smiling at all - during the masque where Miranda and Ferdinand are betrothed, there was a funny little dance where the two lovers were always trying to dance together and Ariel and Prospero kept getting in between them, Ariel forcefully yanking Ferdinand away. And of course they did the awesome little jig-dance that always concludes plays at the Globe, and it was funny and cute :)

So all in all, wonderful. And we're seeing it again on Saturday! Yay!

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