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Suffolk-based Shake Festival hosts all-star reading of The Tempest

PUBLISHED: 17:21 05 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:21 05 November 2020

Geraldine James and her fellow actors conducting a rehearsal for The Tempest over Zoom  Photo: Jenny Hall

Geraldine James and her fellow actors conducting a rehearsal for The Tempest over Zoom Photo: Jenny Hall

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The Suffolk-based Shake Festival has announced a star-studded reading of The Tempest by William Shakespeare, which will be performed on Zoom on November 19 at 7.30pm.

The Tempest is believed to have been written between 1610-11 and is considered to be his last play written without a collaborator. Scholars have suggested that Prospero, the magician is Shakespeare and his renunciation of magic is a metaphor for Shakespeare’s retirement from the stage.

This virtual reading will be directed by Jenny Hall, who once played Miranda in The Tempest at the National Theatre, directed by her father Sir Peter Hall.

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Geraldine James as Prospero and Rebecca Hall as Ariel lead a cast of young stars of TV and film, including Lauryn Canny, Amesh Edireweera, Antonio Aakeel and Aidan Cheng. Olivier Award nominee Robert Hands reads Sebastian, and Wendy Morgan, Tim Fitzhigham and David Sibley are also among the top-flight cast.

Jenny Hall said: “This beautiful, jewel-like play has dark subjects at its core - the abuse of power and enslavement - as well as dealing with issues of nature verses nurture. It feels startlingly apt to read it together, in these intense times.”

The Shake Festival, a new multi-disciplinary Shakespeare festival, was inaugurated in Suffolk in 2019, when it featured Dame Harriet Walter, Professor Grace Ioppolo and playwright Ian Kelly, among others.

Audiences can watch the Zoom reading by booking a ticket at the box office website www.ticketsource.co.uk/the-tempest-shake-festival Tickets cost £10 per household.


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