Shropshire Youth Theatre will perform Shakespeare’s last and perhaps greatest play – 'The Tempest' at Theatre Severn on April 6 & 7. It's a swansong for SYT producer and director Maggie Love and Andrew Bannerman after an amazing 17 years with the group.
Getting back on stage again this April will be a milestone for the young actors at Shropshire Youth Theatre. Having had to cancel their 2020 production of Far From The Madding Crowd just before performance because of Lockdown, SYT kept themselves alive and creative in 2021 tackling Romeo and Juliet via Zoom! Rehearsals for The Tempest began in the autumn of 2021, still in the shadow of the pandemic, with much sickness and absence. So all fingers have been crossed as they prepare for a joyful return to Theatre Severn.
This will be the last in seventeen years of production and direction by Maggie Love and Andrew Bannerman, who has also adapted classic texts for performance by this ambitious and talented young company, who were recently given a special award by Shrewsbury Town Council.
The Tempest is an appropriate finale. It has been seen as Shakespeare’s farewell to the stage, encapsulated in Prospero’s magnificent speech “Our revels now are ended”. In common with other plays of this period, it is neither a comedy nor a tragedy, but has elements of both, with an admixture of magic and wonderful poetry. The expected ending is transformed by love and hope – two qualities we desperately need, when the news is so bleak.
Prospero, the Duke of Milan, has been cast adrift at sea, with his young daughter Miranda, by his scheming brother Antonio, with the help of King Alonso of Naples. Through luck and the help of one counsellor, Gonzala, they survive and for twelve years, while Miranda has grown up, Prospero has perfected his magic arts on an island. Now his enemies have accidentally sailed within his power and he plots a terrible revenge. Yet of course there are innocents within the group – among them the King’s son, Ferdinand, for whom Prospero plans a different fate.
In addition to these main characters are the Ariels – spirits in Prospero’s command, who with their magical powers, can bring his revenge to fruition. Yet he has promised the Ariels freedom and, in a wonderful twist, they turn out to have a transformational effect on him. Prospero also keeps a half-savage creature Caliban, born on the island, captive for threatening to rape Miranda. Two drunk and bumbling servants of Alonso, Stephano and Trinculo, join forces with Caliban to perform the comic sub-plot.
No one else has written a play quite like The Tempest. It has all the qualities which give Shakespeare his unique position in world theatre. Let Shropshire Youth Theatre show you how!
Shropshire Youth Theatre presents The Tempest at Theatre Severn's Walker Theatre on April 6 and 7 at 7.30pm. Book Tickets HERE
£16 | U18 £10 | Group Discount available