Saturday, 21 January 2012

It is written in the stars

This blog post is by Julia.

Have you been watching the skies lately? Stargazing? Wonders of the Universe?

Prospero certainly has. He hears the music of the spheres; he understands their movements and their majesty. He knows that he is part of them and they are part of him. He knows that this beautiful, complex, painful dance of life is all part of the cycle, the cycle of birth and death and rebirth.

"Our story is the story of the Universe. Every piece of everyone and everything you love, of everything you hate, of everything you hold precious, was assembled in the first few minutes of the life of the Universe, and was transformed in the hearts of stars or created in their fiery deaths. When you die those pieces will be returned to the Universe in the endless cycle of death and rebirth. What a wonderful thing to be a part of that universe - and what a story. What a majestic story!"  

(Professor Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen - Wonders of the Universe. BBC Books 2011

The Tempest is a beautiful illumination for our times of what is at life's heart.

The quote above sums up the story of The Tempest. It makes it hugely relevant to the moment, not a piece of antiquity, but as fresh as a daisy; living breathing wisdom!

It is 'interesting' to note that recently one of the United States of America banned the use of The Tempest for teaching at College level on the somewhat tenuous pretext that the play was 'racist'. This is, at best, small-mindedness and ignorance, at worst a fascistic removal of texts that contain wisdom and insights that allow and encourage humans to think for themselves and be free. As Ariel sings to Stephano, Trinculo and Caliban at one point, "Thought is free!"

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Stephano, Trincula, and Caliban

We began the latest rehearsal, the first one back after the festive break, with a romp through the scenes featuring the light relief of the play - Stephano and Trincula. The former is usually imagined as a butler, and the latter as a kind of court jester. In our production, due to the necessity of doubling up, we have re-imagined Trincula as a sort of courtesan and Stephano as a drunken publican.

Kate and Stuart have been having great fun working on the banter, physical comedy and timing. Several kinds of chaos ensue once Dave is involved as Caliban. Playing most of the first scene where the two washed-up characters first meet Caliban on his knees, Dave resembles an anarchic ET. The scene was already funny to watch but by the end of the hour my ribs were hurting from laughing.