The Tempest

BSSTC-The-Tempest-Phoebe-Sullivan-photo-by-Garth-deBruno-AustinIn celebration of their 30th birthday, Black Swan asked their audience which of the Bard’s 37 plays should they perform at the end of their 2021 Season. Over 1,800 votes were cast!

Black Swan State Theatre Company are thrilled to be staging The Tempest, where it all began for them 30 years ago – at the Octagon Theatre, University of Western Australia, from 20 November to 11 December 2021.

Written in 1611, The Tempest is considered to be Shakespeare’s final masterpiece. Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, lives with his daughter Miranda, in exile on a desert island after his sister usurps his position with the help of the King of Naples.

Masterful in the magic arts, Prospero conjures a vengeful storm with the help of Ariel (the island’s magical sprite), when he learns his sister and the King are aboard a ship sailing close to their island. Prospero’s storm splits the hull of their vessel, plunging them into the sea.

The nobles and sailors who were on board are washed to different shores of the island, each thinking they are lone survivors. What ensues is a plot to murder the King, a drunken scheme to kill Prospero and a love story between young Miranda and the King’s son.

Join them on a dream-like journey through a strangely familiar world. Sea shanties crash against Indian raags, on an island brimming with music, magic and wonder.

The Tempest is directed by award-winning Matt Edgerton, whose career has included positions as Artistic Director of Western Australia’s Children’s Theatre Company Barking Gecko, and Resident Artist at Australia’s national Shakespeare Company, Bell Shakespeare.

Matt has described The Tempest “as the most musical and magical of all of Shakespeare’s plays. The script is lyrical, mysterious, funny, filthy, violent, delicate and wise,” he said. “It was likely Shakespeare’s last solo-authored play and is infused with a world-weariness set against the giddy wonderment of youth”

Matt also draws a connection to the play with life in WA today, “This play speaks directly to some of our deepest longings, in our new COVID reality. Western Australians are isolated, cut off from the rest of the world,” he said

“Many of us yearn to escape, to explore, to travel once again and test our sense of who we are on a larger stage. The Tempest gives us that experience – a group of characters shipwrecked on an island confronted with their deepest longings and fears – each transformed by their own personal sea-change.”

The Tempest is full of both fresh and familiar faces and will be performed with live music by a multi-generational ensemble of eleven extraordinary Western Australian actors who never leave the stage for the entire performance.

The Tempest is a 400 year old lesson in love that asks: What do you need to let go of? Join us for an experience that will awaken you.

Director: Matt Edgerton | Featuring: Humphrey Bower, Teresa Jakovich, Pavan Kumar Hari, Caroline McKenzie, Catherine Moore, Drayton Morley, Will O’Mahony, Charlotte Otton, Phoebe Sullivan, Mararo Wangai, Ian Wilkes | Associate Director: Libby Klysz | Set & Costume Designer: Zoë Atkinson | Composer: Pavan Kumar Hari | Sound Designer: Tim Collins | Lighting Designer: Lucy Birkinshaw | Movement Director: Samantha Chester | Video Designer: Jessica Russell | Vocal Coach: Luzita Fereday

The Tempest
Octagon Theatre, University of Western Australia
Season: 24 November to 11 December 2021 (previews: 20 – 23 November)
Information and Bookings:

Image: Phoebe Sullivan as Miranda – photo by Garth deBruno Austin