Reviewed by Paula Citron
Stratford’s much-hyped The Tempest has a tedious first half, but Christopher Plummer breathes life into the second. He is a charming and sensitive Prospero, radiating quiet wisdom and an immense love for mankind.
Director Des McAnuff is economical with his theatrical tricks. Yes the stage rotates, lifts up, sinks down, but there really is no part of the production that has a sense of wonder – that “ah ha” moment that takes your breath away.
Most of the actors seem to be sleep walking through their roles, including a sameness among the Naples contingent that makes them indistinguishable. Notable exceptions include adorable gamin Julyana Soelistyo as Ariel and Gareth Potter as Ferdinand. The latter is really becoming one of Stratford’s princes.
The forced humour of Bruce Dow’s camp queen Trinculo and Geraint Wyn Davies’ Scottish Stephano is just irritating. Trish Lindström’s Miranda is too much tomboy while Dion Johnstone’s Caliban is too tame.
The Tempest continues at the Festival Theatre until Sept. 12.
Stratford Shakespeare Festival
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Des McAnuff
Starring Christopher Plummer, Trish Lindström, Julyana Soelisyo, Dion Johnstone, Gareth Potter, Peter Hutt, Timothy D. Stickney, John Vickery, Bruce Dow and Geraint Wyn Davies
Theatre Jun. 11 to Sept. 12, 2010