ON a distant island, a man waits. Robbed of his position, power and wealth, his enemies have left him in isolation.
But this is no ordinary man, and this no ordinary island. Prospero is a magician, able to control the very elements and bend nature to his will. When a sail appears on the horizon, he reaches out across the ocean to the ship that carries the men who wronged him.
Creating a vast magical storm he wrecks the ship and washes his enemies up on the shore.
When they wake they find themselves lost on a fantastical island where nothing is as it seems.
Screened live from the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, Simon Russell Beale stars as Prospero in this groundbreaking production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which will be beamed live onto the large screen of the Festival Theatre tomorrow evening.
Beale returns to the Royal Shakespeare Company after 20 years to play the role in a production directed by Gregory Doran, which uses today’s most advanced technology to create a bold reimagining of the Bard’s magical play.
The Tempest, believed to have been written between 1610 and 1611, received its first recorded performance before King James on 1 November 1611.
It had another court performance two years later to mark the marriage of Princess Elizabeth to Frederick, the Elector Palatine of Bohemia.
On the silver screen, Derek Jarman’s provocative cinematic interpretation starring Heathcote Williams and featuring Toyah Willcox, Christopher Biggins and Ken Campbell introduced a whole new audience to the piece.
At the Festival Theatre tomorrow the new RSC production promises to be every bit as thought-provoking.
RSC Live Screening: The Tempest, Festival Theatre, Nicolson Street, tomorrow, 7pm, £16, 0131-529 6000