‘O brave new world…!’ RSC, Intel and their visually beautiful creation

So, this post is a little late as I’m still trying to implement blogging into my routine, but in January I went to see my first ever RSC performance and it was magical.

I’ve loved theatre ever since I went to see The Lion King when I must have been around 7. It sparked a passion that has followed me into my adult life, leading me to pursue Drama as a degree subject, and then Scriptwriting at Masters level. Needless to say, I was very excited to see a performance by The RSC, as their reputation proceeds them.

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The RSC partnered up with Intel on their latest production of The Tempest, directed by the RSC’s Artistic Director Gregory Doran, fusing together technology and theatre in a way that hasn’t been done before. Which peaked both my interest in theatre and my boyfriend’s interest in technology.

If you’re aged between 16-25, you can get a ticket to see an RSC show for FIVE POUNDS. This is exactly what I did, and it was quite possibly the best five pounds I’ve ever spent. (You’ll need to remember to bring your ID to prove you’re in this age range).

The staging and set were amazing. It looked like the inside of a ship, and the floor had a cracked pattern on it, that lights shone through to create different effects, allowing the scenery to change from a dream like world into a dry beach with ease.

the tempest staging

My favourite parts were the use of material and projections to create awesome visual spectacles. Like when material came down from the ceiling in the shape of a cylinder and projected Ariel trapped in the tree…

ariel

And also in the marriage ceremony when one of the spirits was raised on a platform and her skirt drawn out and flowers projected on it…

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Some of the best performances were by the supporting characters, a hilarious Stephano played by Tony Jayawardena, a tortured Caliban played by Joe Dixon and the pure acrobatic skill of Ariel played by Mark Quartley.

The new technology used in this play was truly amazing, and it is exciting to think what could be achieved with it in the future as the technology continues to grow. I was worried that tech would overshadow the actors in this intimate space, but the pacing of the technology-heavy scenes and the stripped down just-actors-on-stage-no-gimmicks scenes was good and allowed the actors to shine in their own right.

It was beautiful. I had high expectations, and they were met.

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