By Tristan Harris 02/06 Updated: 29/06 14:23
IF ANYONE wanted to know what you could do with a small, but very talented, cast and an equally small stage space, then MadCap Theatre Productions provides a fine example with its version of The Tempest.
There were just eight actors putting on this Shakespeare classic, which delighted the audience at Birmingham's newly-revamped MAC Hexagon theatre on Saturday (June 2).
Every member who took to the stage put in a near faultless performance and the chemistry and timing was impeccable as they told The Bard's tale of illusion and manipulation.
The scenes ranged from the hilarious - where Trinculo, Stephano and Caliban tried to make sense of things whilst in a drunken stupor - to very moving - at the wedding of Ferdinand and Miranda which, with the aid of excellent pitch-point harmonies, created an unbelievably emotional moment.
The most touching part of this production was, undoubtedly, the final scene where Prospero, played by Neale McGrath, eventually set Aerial (Hayley Evenett) free. You could hear a pin drop in the auditorium as she spirited her way off the stage.
Aerial, in her role, commanded the whole stage and the moment early on, where she manipulated Ferdinand into falling for Miranda, was the pick of the scenes.
When staging Shakespeare's finest, it is just as much to do with the facial expressions, movement and body language as it is the words spoken and the cast did this magnificently throughout.
By the end, the actors had earned themselves a much-deserved ovation for a production that is well-worth seeing, for both Shakespeare fans and theatre goers who normally shy away from The Bard's plays.
MadCap's The Tempest will be at Bromsgrove's Artrix on July 7 and is not to be missed.
Tickets, at £12 or £10 (over 60s and under 16s), are available by calling 01527 577330 or by visiting www.artrix.co.uk.
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