The Tempest, Oregon Shakespeare Festival
I really liked the Tempest. Like many Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s patrons, having seen the play a number of times, I was not sure how well I would like this version. After seeing the Tempest, I liked it much more than I thought I would, and I’m glad OSF is doing it.
The staging and production was inventive and expressive without getting in the way of the storytelling. The Tempest has a strong cast and it was well directed.
It will please many people; and interestingly enough it will satisfy both ‘camps’. Those who insist Shakespeare plays must be done ‘traditionally’ [read: in “men in tights” ala Sir Laurence Olivier] and those who like a modern spare production. The setting is on a magical island and on that island many strange and mystifying things happen and logically those stranded on it for years have lost their ‘traditional’ Elizabethan garb. But the newly arrived shipwrecked characters are in fancy noblemen clothes.
But I think most will very much admire the way the entire production is pulled together. The beautiful buto dancers who silently move through the story, making things happen, assisting Ariel fly, etc. The love scenes are charming, and the comedy is not over-the-top silly.
The Tempest is in the Bowmer, and will run throughout the season.