Review The Tempest, Taking Flight Theatre Company by Helen Joy

 out of 5 stars (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
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
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 or on 07785 947823 to discuss any access requirement. Touch tours and BSL introductions are available by arrangement.
Supported by Arts Council of Wales
Unless otherwise stated next to date, follow this link below for tickets.
Thompson’s Park, Cardiff
(meet at main gate on Romilly Rd)
June 8th  12pm & 6.30pm
June 9th   6.30pm
June 10th  2pm & 6.30pm 02920 304400

The Pavilion, Langland, Swansea
11th June 2pm
Bryntirion Comprehensive, Bridgend
June 15th  6.30pm
Buy on the door

Elan Valley
(meet at visitor centre)
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)
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 or call 01766 522773
Hijinx Unity Festival 
Caernarfon Doc Fictoria
July 1st 12pm
July 2nd 2pm

Bellevue Park Newport
(meet at The Tea Rooms)
NP20 4EZ
July 5th   12pm & 7pm

Tretower Court
July 6th  7pm

Blaise Castle Estate Dairy Farm
BS10 7QS
July 7th 12pm & 7pm
July 8th 2 & 7pm or use ticketsource

Tretower Court
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 / 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
July 29th 12pm
The Kymin, Penarth
CF64 1JX
July 30th 4pm  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.
Follow us at: @takingflightco
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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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