A reason to applaud

Director Kim Sturgess on her Shakespeare adaptation, The Tempest

A reason to applaud

One of Shakespeare’s later plays, The Tempest is a tragi-comedy portraying a tale of deceit, betrayal, trust, romance and more.We speak to the Doha Players director to find out how she aims to tackle this notable work.

How have you adapated the copy?
We are using the recognised Shakespeare play text as published in the 1623 Folio edition. We have made a couple of minor edits to improve the dramatic effect of our production but there is no ‘adaptation’. I regard the play as dramatic-comedy.

Why did you choose to set it on the fictional island of Maghreb?
The play text clearly states that the island setting is between Tunis and Naples. It is somewhere south of Sicily (the southern Mediterranean) and Algiers, Tunisia and Africa are all mentioned in the text.

Why did the Doha Players choose The Tempest?
It is a great play focusing upon a ‘storm’ of emotions. This play observes the ‘unities’ and is also a rare original Shakespeare story. It includes sibling rivalry and young love. There is something in this play for everyone.

Do you think that Prospero’s character is a nod to his own Bard parallels, as is commonly critiqued?
No. Prospero’s brother usurps his political position as Duke of Milan and also tries to kill him. Prospero is also a single parent. This does not parallel the life of a glove maker’s son from rural Stratford-upon-Avon.

Will this trump other recent Shakespeare adaptations by the Doha Players?
The Doha Players has a great pool of talent and the production will harness this to create an entertaining show.

Five reasons to watch the play…
1. It is by William Shakespeare and he wrote the most entertaining and provocative stage plays in the English language. 2. There will be music, dance and comedy. 3. We have a monster. 4. We have a storm. 5. There is a happy ending (well, maybe).

From the sprite’s mouth

Time Out caught up with Ariel, Prospero’s very own fairy

How does it feel to go from being trapped in a tree to a slave for Prospero?
Being trapped in a tree was the most horrific experience I have had for centuries. I was there for 12 years and it would have been even longer if Prospero had not come along when he did. I am extremely thankful to him, but there are times when I think he takes advantage of me a little too much.

Do you see Prospero as your saviour or your captor?
Both. We have a love/hate relationship – he likes to remind me that he is the boss but I probably deserve it sometimes. He makes me work extremely hard on his behalf. I put up with it as I know I won’t be his slave forever.

Do you think he is a good man?
Yes, he is. You only have to look at the way he looks after his daughter Miranda to see that. And, for all my complaints, he is good to me most of the time. We always have a bit of a laugh together, especially after one of our plots goes well.

Do you believe his word he’ll release you?
I do, but he is dragging it on a bit. He told me I had to serve him for a year, and we are at that point now. But whenever I raise the issue and say, ‘I’ve done thee worthy service, told thee no lies, made no mistakings, served without grudge or grumblings,’ he brings up that tree business again and how I would still be stuck in it if it wasn’t for him.
Ariel is played by Dawn Gibson.

Caliban’s take

Does Caliban know he is depicted as a treacherous?

Do you think you are good or evil?
I am not evil! I am good. Caliban is always good, yes.

What do you make of Prospero?
Bah! The plague should rid us of him, and his daughter! He is an evil, wicked wizard who stole my island from me with the help of his ‘spirit’. If only my mother, Sycorax, was still alive, he’d be the one fetching us wood! Prospero would be Caliban’s slave!

Is it your fault you are enslaved?
No! Prospero is an evil man and took the island from me. He is a thief.

Why are you so mad at Prospero’s daughter?
She is a traitor! I needed her to help me populate the island with little Calibans but she cried out for her father. Prospero pinched me, beat me and tortured me, all because of her betrayal!

Do you think your mother was right for enslaving spirits?
Of course! They would not follow her commands, and they had enough power to harm my mother, so there was no other choice.

What do you think of Ariel?
Ariel is a traitor! The spirit has been here a long time yet she helps the evil Prospero to enslave me and obeys his commands with pleasure.
Caliban is played by Hussam Aitelqadi.
The Doha Players are performing The Tempest Nov 7-10, 7pm. QR100, www.q-tickets.com. Auditorium 3, QNCC, Education City (4470 7000).

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