The Iris Theatre's production of The Tempest, playing at St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden (London's West End), is an enjoyable adaptation of Shakespeare's play, but one which, at times, feels a bit too cautious.
Throughout, there is a certain stiffness to this performance. It is difficult to pinpoint this, other than to say that, whilst some performances of Shakespeare's plays can make the audience forget that they're watching something that was written over 400 years ago, this production did not.
It was, however, refreshing to see the play performed in such an interesting open-air space. Throughout The Tempest, the audience are taken to 4 different stages within the venue. This variety contributes to the good pace of the play, and also gives it a unique edge.
It was a really hot day when I saw The Tempest, and I was impressed by how well the cast managed to keep going, whilst performing directly under the sun and in often heavy costumes.
The flip-side to the open-air performance is that, for somebody who doesn't know The Tempest particularly well, not being able to hear the cast when there are other noises coming from the 'outside world' makes it difficult to follow at times. The Tempest is a wordy play, so it is important to be able to hear and follow everything that is said.
If you know The Tempest, and are interested in seeing it performed in an open-air space, you can catch the production until the 28th July 2018.