The Tempest

BS_The TempestAs a fond farewell to the company he founded 25 years ago, John Bell will direct The Tempest, playing at Sydney Opera House from 19 August.

The last play attributed to Shakespeare, The Tempest is an allegorical tale of shipwrecked nobles stranded on an island of cavorting spirits, music and merriment, love and loss, reconciliation and mercy. Having played Prospero three times, this production will be the first time that John Bell will direct the play.

“The Tempest being about so many things; fathers and daughters, rival brothers, revenge and forgiveness, adolescent love, art and theatre… the list is almost inexhaustible,” said John Bell.

At the centre of the play is Prospero (Brian Lipson), a rage-filled and vengeful usurped lord who gains true wisdom through forgiveness and emancipation. Exiled twelve years earlier, Prospero is a powerful magician, still seething with rage and a desire for revenge; he was overthrown and banished by his brother, Antonio, also stranded on the island after the shipwreck.

This production will focus on the personal journeys of Prospero and his captives Caliban (Damien Strouthos) and Ariel (Matthew Backer); the intensity of their relationships and the issues surrounding liberty through redemption.

Renowned designer Julie Lynch’s set evokes a fanciful paper world where tales are yet to be written on an island that may exist only in the mind. Alan John’s original compositions will underscore the intersection of fantasy and a reckoning with the natural world.

Director: John Bell  Featuring: Robert Alexander, Matthew Backer, Felix Gentle, Brian Lipson, Arky Michael, Hazem Shammas, Maeliosa Stafford, Damien Strouthos, Eloise Winestock  Set & Costume Designer: Julie Lynch  Lighting: Damien Cooper  Composer: Alan John  Movement Director: Scott Witt

The Tempest
Playhouse – Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
Season: 21 August – 18 September 2015 (previews: 19-20 August)
Bookings: 1300 305 730 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Eloise Winestock and Brian Lipson feature in The Tempest – courtesy of Bell Shakespeare