Casting is announced for The Tempest by William Shakespeare, which will be the first production in Deborah Warner’s inaugural season as Artistic Director of the Ustinov Studio in Bath.
Deborah Warner’s previous Shakespeare productions include Julius Caesar at the Barbican and across Europe, which starred Simon Russell Beale and Ralph Fiennes; productions of King Lear starring Glenda Jackson and Brian Cox in the title role; and ground breaking production of Richard II in which Fiona Shaw played the title role.
The cast: Dickie Beau (Bohemian Rhapsody, Colette) will play Ariel, Gary Sefton (RSC’s Beauty and the Beast, Julius Caesar, The Widowers House) will play Stephano, William Chubb (King Lear, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Life of Galileo) will play Gonzalo, Stephen Kennedy (The Archers, The Birthday Party, Mother Courage and Her Children)will play Trinculo, Nicholas Woodeson (The Mirror and the Light, Death of a Salesman, The Audience) will play Prospero, Pierro Niel-Mee (Imperium: Parts 1 & 2, Shakespeare in Love, Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied Tunisia) will play Ferdinand, Edward Hogg (The Pillowman, Loot, Taboo) will play Caliban, Derek Hutchinson (Cocktail Sticks, Amadeus, The Doctor’s Dilemma) will play Alonso, Tanvi Virmani (Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice) will play Miranda, Natalie Winsor (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dirty Dancing, Fame) will play Francisca, Finbar Lynch (Not About the Nightingales, The Hothouse, The Fairy Queen) will play Antonio, and Luke Mullins (Waiting For Godot, The Maids) will play Sebastian.
“Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight, and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices,
That if I then had waked after long sleep
Will make me sleep again; and then in dreaming
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked
I cried to dream again..”
Caliban Act 3, Sc 2
Set on an enchanted island Shakespeare’s last play deals with magic, love, treachery, transformations, transmutations, the visible and the invisible. In Caliban, Ariel, and of course Prospero, Shakespeare created three of his most memorable and enigmatic characters. As with all his ‘late plays’, man’s complex and troubled journey from the desire for revenge to the path of mercy is centre stage. When Prospero takes his enemies hostage, the path is set for a traditional revenge drama, but instead ends in redemption, restoration and renewal.
Deborah Warner will be joined by some of Europe’s finest creative talent, including designer Christof Hetzer whose opera designs have been seen around the world, including Tosca at the National Opera de Paris, Rigoletto in Vienna, Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman in Malmo and Eurydice for De Nationale Opera in Amsterdam.
Lighting Designer Jean Kalman was born in Paris in 1945 and since 1979 has created the lighting for countless theatre and opera productions in France, Japan, Great Britain, Holland, Brussels, Italy and New York. He has worked with numerous directors including Peter Brook and worked extensively with the late artist Christian Boltanski.
Sound Designer Mel Mercier began his illustrious theatre career with Deborah Warner and Fiona Shaw’s Medea at the Abbey Court in Dublin and has since worked across the UK and on Broadway.