Review The Tempest, Taking Flight Theatre Company by Helen Joy


(4 / 5)

 

It is indeed a rough magic. A clever, witty, kind sort of rough magic woven through this production of one of Shakespeare’s stranger tales.

Ambulating through Thompson’s Park, a space for the imagination if ever there was one, this charming, funny and imaginative version enchants us all.

Dull and colourless as this audience is in its raincoats and wellies, we provide a suitably leaden contrast to the spangles and sequins of the cast. Blue against the green leaves, gold against the grey bark. Barque. The puns are smart, the lines are clear. Nothing is left unexplained, untranslated, misinterpreted. It is all done with a competent amusement.

It is a marvellous interpretation. A 1930s cruise, flamboyant characters and the utter bonkersness which this Company does so brilliantly.

One of the things it also does so well is multi-casting. The comedy trio of Stephano, Trinculo and Caliban is just joyous. I absolutely love them – and this audience laughs back into their contorted faces. The three of them swap between roles smartly and provide that bit of Shakespearean slapstick we need between the heavy bits. Caliban is familiar, he reminds me of Moriarty, all cute and smarmy. Handsome as the glorious Miranda’s short (you will have to see it to get that) lover, he is captivating all round.

As is Prospero. A difficult and lengthy role which is delivered with assurance and terrific suavity. The compere of the evening, he is maitre d’ of his Island and of us all. He is appropriately edgy and advances on us loitering observers with confidence, making us fearful of his abilities.  His soft voice persuades us to come closer, he is in charge.

Now. Ariel. The singer. The dishy sprite with the admiring backing group. Another tricky role and well played.  As are all the roles. The exaggerated expressions, the songs, the comic timing, the acting, is all delightful. There is magic here. There is nothing not to like here. Shakespeare would’ve loved it, loved the inclusiveness of it all, loved the weather it played out in – can we ever control anything, anyone, however powerful we think we are?

We trip into the performance on bright blue boats and trip out wishing Prospero well in his new life. We have understood this complex play in a way we never have before, we have been entertained, educated and included.

Go see – take a lightweight, foldable chair & check the weather forecast as you may need a hat; sensible shoes are de rigeur.

 

 Helen Joy for Get the Chance, 3rd Act Critics.

Photography – Jorge Lizalde- Studio Cano

TAKING FLIGHT THEATRE COMPANY

presents

THE TEMPEST by William Shakespeare

Director- Elise Davison

Designer- Becky Davies

Composer and Musical Director- Dan Lawrence

Costume Maker- Angharad Gamble

BSL consultants- Jean St Clair and Daryl Jackson

Cast

Milton Lopes- Ariel

Dean Rehman- Prospero

Stephanie Back- Miranda

Sian Owens – Antonia/ ensemble

Paul Henshall- Gonzalo

Sami Thorpe-  BSL  Dance Captain

Sam Bees- Alonso/ Stephano

Ioan Gwyn- Ferdinand/ Caliban

Huw Blainey- Sebastian/ Trinculo

Shannon Davison- ensemble

Lauren Burgess- ensemble

Audio trailer- English

Audio trailer Welsh

 

*Please contact beth@takingflighttheatre.co.uk or on 07785 947823 to discuss any access requirement. Touch tours and BSL introductions are available by arrangement.

Supported by Arts Council of Wales

 

TOUR DATES

 

Unless otherwise stated next to date, follow this link below for tickets.

https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/taking-flight-theatre-company

 

JUNE

 

Thompson’s Park, Cardiff

(meet at main gate on Romilly Rd)

CF5 1FH

June 8th  12pm & 6.30pm

June 9th   6.30pm

June 10th  2pm & 6.30pm

Chapter.org 02920 304400

 

The Pavilion, Langland, Swansea

SA3 4SF

11th June 2pm

 

Bryntirion Comprehensive, Bridgend

June 15th  6.30pm

Buy on the door

Elan Valley

(meet at visitor centre)

LD6 5HP

June 16th  12pm & 5pm

June 17th 4pm

Roath Park, Cardiff

(meet at conservatory)

June 18th 6.30pm

Beaumaris Castle

LL58 8AP

June 21st  7pm

Coed Y Brenin

(meet at visitor centre)

LL40 2HZ

June 22nd   7pm

Denbigh Castle

LL16 3NB

June 23rd  12pm & 7pm

June 24th  2 & 7pm

Loggerheads Country Park

(meet at visitor centre)

CH7 5LH

June 25th   7pm

Tickets also bookable at site

Caerphilly Castle

CF83 1JD

June 28th  7pm

Strata Florida Abbey

SY25 6ES

June 29th   7pm

Dylan’s Restaurant, Criccieth

LL52 0HU

30th 7.30pm

For theatre tickets only please use Ticketsource link

For theatre and dinner tickets email criccieth@dylansrestaurant.co.uk or call 01766 522773

www.dylansrestaurant.co.uk

 

JULY

 

Hijinx Unity Festival 

Caernarfon Doc Fictoria

July 1st 12pm

July 2nd 2pm

Free

www.hijinx.org.uk/unity

 

Bellevue Park Newport

(meet at The Tea Rooms)

NP20 4EZ

July 5th   12pm & 7pm

Tretower Court

NP8 1RD

July 6th  7pm

Blaise Castle Estate Dairy Farm

BS10 7QS

July 7th 12pm & 7pm

July 8th 2 & 7pm

bristolshakespearefestival.org.uk or use ticketsource

Tretower Court

NP8 1RD

July 9th 5.30pm

Cyfarthfa Castle, Merthyr

(meet at bandstand)

CF47 8RE

July 11th  12pm & 7pm

Rhuddlan Castle

LL18 5AD

July 13th  7pm

July 14th  12pm & 7pm

Valle Crucis Abbey, Llangollen

LL20 8DD

July 15th & 16th 7pm

llangollenfringe.co.uk / 0800 1455779 or use ticketsource

Cilgerran Castle

SA43 2SF

July 19th  7pm

Stackpole, Nr Pembroke

(meet at Lodge Park Woods)

Carpark  postcode SA71 5DE

July 20th 7pm

July 21st 12pm & 7pm

July 22nd 2 & 7pm

Hilton Court, Haverfordwest

SA62 5AE

July 23rd   6.30pm

Beechenhurst Lodge, Forest of Dean

GL16 7EG

July 25th 7pm

Tintern Abbey

NP16 6SE

July 26th 7pm

Kidwelly Castle

SA17 5BQ

July 28th 7pm

Trelai Pavilion, Trelai Park, Ely, Cardiff

CF5 5AQ

July 29th 12pm

 

The Kymin, Penarth

CF64 1JX

July 30th 4pm

penarthtowncouncil.gov.uk  02920 703200

 

 

Taking Flight Theatre Company (TFTC) was formed by Beth House and Elise Davison in 2008. Beth met Elise whilst working on a youth theatre project in South Wales. Having worked extensively together since then on a freelance basis, they decided to make it official and set up Taking Flight Theatre Company. Our aim with this company is to work with groups of people who have traditionally been underrepresented in theatre, film and television, and to make fully accessible and integrated theatre for all ages. Taking flight Theatre Company regularly tour to some of the most gorgeous open spaces across Wales (and occasionally England) with beautifully realised Shakespearean adventures every summer. TFTC have also led on a Welsh Government initiative tackling Disability Hate Crime for the last 3 autumns- reaching over 9,000 young people in the last 3 years. TFTC also perform festival and street theatre pieces during the summer. You’ve Got Dragons is their first production especially developed for theatres and professional and community performance spaces.

 

Taking Flight Theatre Company have an integrated casting policy which goes hand in hand with their belief in creating fully accessible and integrated theatre- employing the best creative talent regardless of visible and invisible abilities. Our philosophy reaches out to performers who might traditionally have been overlooked by mainstream theatre, and as such they often employ disabled, D/deaf and sensory impaired performers, placing positive disabled role models centre stage.

 

Website: takingflighttheatre.co.uk

 

Follow us at: @takingflightco

 

Like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Takingflightco/

 

Selection of cast biographies

 

Ioan Gwyn

 

Following 4 years of touring theatre across Wales with various companies (Arad Goch, Bara Caws, Mess up the Mess), Ioan went on to study a Masters in Classical Acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama. Since graduation he has performed in a variety of classical plays such as Volpone, Cymbeline and a one-off performance in Shakespeare’s Globe of an unearthed play by Thomas Jordan, Tricks of Youth.

Aside from performing Richard III at The Tower of London, this is Ioan’s first outdoor theatre tour, and he looks forward to the inevitable performance in the rain!

 

Paul Henshall

 

Paul trained at Manchester Metropolitan School of Theatre.

He has worked extensively in theatre, and his TV credits include; Dr Dean West: Holby City, Paul Ball: I’m With Stupid, Michael Scant: A Thing Called Love, Ollie Beresford: Casualty, David Hobbs: Playing the Field, all for BBC.  Prankster: Off Their Rockers – Blue Badge Special, ITV

Paul was the first disabled person in the country to gain a qualification in stage combat from the British Academy of Dramatic Combat, and in 2007 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Staffordshire University for services to acting and the promotion of disabled actors.

Paul is also a trained and registered Hypnotist, specialising in confidence, stage fright and phobias, and also performs comedy stage hypnosis shows

 

 

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