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Middle Temple Has 400th Anniversary Tempest

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Middle Temple Hall will provide the setting for a 400th anniversary celebration of another Shakespeare classic – the bard’s last play, The Tempest. Antic Disposition’s production of The Tempest will run at the historic Elizabethan venue, situated in the middle of one of London’s inns of court and still used as a dining hall for barristers, from 20 August to 3 September 2011.

Middle Temple Hall was built in 1573 and received its royal charter, as a place of legal education and accommodation, in 1608. The Hall has strong associations with drama, and Shakespeare in particular. On 2 February 1602, it was the venue of the first recorded performance of Twelfth Night, in which it’s believed, the bard himself appeared.

In recent years, the Hall has been the venue of choice for celebrating the 400th milestones of Shakespeare plays including Twelfth Night, in which then Globe artistic director – and now two-time Tony Award winner - Mark Rylance played Olivia in an all-male Globe cast in 2002, and Romeo and Juliet, in which Rylance’s daughter Juliet Rylance played Juliet, in 2008.

The first recorded performance of The Tempest was at Whitehall Palace on 1 November 1611 in front of King James I. The Antic Disposition production is directed by company founders Ben Horslen and John Risebero, designed by Risebero and lit by Howard Hudson with music by James Burrows.


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