I was hoping this post would contain almost no text, and only photos. But, for once, this production hit Cape Town before anywhere else, so there aren’t yet gorgeous publicity shots littering the web. There should be.
I wanted an intense pic of Sir Anthony Sher glowering under the strain of the supernatural, in his heavy sangoma robes. I wanted a shot of Ariel’s wondrous harpy guise, with scorching red wings and weird hooflike stilts. I wanted a still shot of the magical chameleon puppet, and another of the spectacular wedding scene (my only gripe with this production was that the puppets were whipped on and off so fast that we barely got to take in their character). And of John Kani’s moment of transformation from slave to king. And of Trinculo and Stefano doing their flout-him-and-clout-him dance (as utterly hilariously compelling as the lunatic vagrant I saw at Home Affairs yesterday – have I mentioned lately how much I love this place?!) Oh, and of Ariel, his gorgeous painted body quivering with magic.
The whole thing was spellbinding and awe-inspiring, exactly as The Tempest should be. Text won’t really do it justice. If you’re in Cape Town, get yourself tickets to The Tempest. If you’re in the UK, go see it in March – it’ll be at Stratford-Upon-Avon, and then on tour in Richmond, Leeds, Bath, Nottingham and Sheffield. The Tempest is directed by Janice Honeyman for the Baxter Theatre in association with the RSC, with set and constumes by Illke Louw, lighting by Mannie Manim, music and sound by Neo Muyanga, and puppets by Janni Younge. Utterly inspiring stuff.