Review - The Tempest at Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Shipwrecked, the characters of The Tempest, were lost in a desolate island and they weren't the only ones.

Wednesday, 29th June 2016, 3:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th June 2016, 4:13 pm
The Tempest
The Tempest

I should start off by saying I have a love/hate relationship with the Bard’s work. Like many school aged children, the language was a difficult hurdle to overcome and it hasn’t got much better in the 15 or so years later.

But Shakespeare’s work clearly stands the test of time otherwise his work wouldn’t be put on by the youth of today and there is a lot to admire in this latest production.

This collaboration between the Royal & Derngate and the National Youth Theatre is stunning to look at. A visual treat for the eyes giving the whole piece a sense of movie style grandeur rather than being limited by the stage.

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In the first few minutes, we get transported from a relatively normal bedroom to a nuclear bunker via a shipwreck during the apocalypse.

And there are some very strong performances particularly from Sophie Walter as Prosper and Beth Markey as Miranda.

But for all the drama and with so much to admire, it is a shame in my opinion, that there is no attempt to contemporise the language in this adaptation. Indeed, it says it all that while there was a lot to admire, I was completely lost by the events of the first half and someone had to explain the plot to me.

For Shakespearean afficionados, there will be plenty to enjoy in this adaptation, even if it wasn’t my cup of tea.

The Tempest can be seen from Saturday July 2 and tickets can be booked by calling the box office on 01604 624811 or visit