Romance, magic and a deserted island – Shakespeare's extraordinary final work pits the desire for revenge against the power of love. Marooned for many years with his daughter Miranda, Prospero has spent twelve years perfecting his magic. When he learns that a ship bearing his old enemies is sailing near the island, he conjures up a torrential storm with the help of the spirit Ariel, bringing within his grasp those who robbed him of his dukedom. A story of redemption and forgiveness, this enchanted tale is filled with humour, romance and adventure.
Shakespeare’s words were quoted by both Kenneth Brannagh in the Olympics Opening Ceremony and Timothy Spall in the Closing Ceremony as they recalled Caliban’s speech, which begins with the line: "Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises". The Tempest was also the inspiration behind the title of Danny Boyle’s acclaimed 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, Isles of Wonder, watched by a global audience.
Adrian Noble first staged this production of The Tempest in an open-air version in 2011, receiving terrific reviews at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre in California, where he is the Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Festival. This summer, his production of The Tempest will appear exclusively in Bath, when the Theatre Royal stages the only 2012 UK performances. To mount the production indoors the creative team have redesigned the set for its staging in Bath, with props, puppets, costumes and musical instruments shipped over from San Diego.
Tim Pigott-Smith, who recently played a much acclaimed King Lear for West Yorkshire Playhouse, will star as Prospero. He was last seen at the Theatre Royal in Pygmalion in 2008, which first opened during The Peter Hall Company’s 2007 season in Bath before transferring to London’s Old Vic Theatre. His recent stage credits include ENRON in the West End, A Delicate Balance at the Almeida and Educating Rita at Trafalgar Studios. He has also worked extensively with the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.