Late Romances Bardathon Weekend: The Tempest

It seems rather fitting that the last of the four late romances I’ve attended this long weekend is The Tempest, which is not only presumably Shakespeare’s final solo work (he ended his career with a few collaborations, including Pericles), but also the final Globe play under the direction of the outgoing artistic director Dominic Dromgoole, who’s held the position since 2005. While I’ve always appreciated the artistry of The Tempest, I’ve never felt particularly connected to the play, and have had a number of reservations: Prospero’s treatment of Caliban and Ariel, Prospero’s general machinations, the super duper problematic “romantic” relationship between Miranda and Ferdinand, and so on. I suppose the main reason I’ve never taken to the play is my lack of a favourite–or even just a preferred–character, which then means I tend to lose interest in the plot. The high incidence of music and physical comedy also makes it difficult to sit and read off the page, which meant that although The Tempest is not at all my “go-to” play, I always look forward to discovering how stage productions make use of the play-text.


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