The Tempest Q&A video and photos: What happens when the gender-flipping of this 400-year-old play goes even further?

In Features, Interviews, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Quotes, Ticket recommendations by Terri PaddockLeave a Comment

In my first of three post-show Q&As this year with Lazarus Theatre, I was at Greenwich Theatre for this pioneering ensemble company’s exciting re-examination of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Sure, we’ve had Prospero played by a woman before – not least Vanessa Redgrave, Helen Mirren and Harriet Walter – but what happens when you take the gender-flipping of this 400-year-old play even further?

Think you know Shakespeare classic The Tempest? But what happens if Prospero is a woman? And Miranda is a young man? How does a mother-son relationship differ from that of a father-daughter? And how do the implications change with a male Miranda’s budding love for heir-apparent Ferdinand?

Throw in gender swaps for Caliban, Ariel, Antonio and Sebastian and the considerations of what happens on a remote island under a sorcerer’s rule become even more interesting. Lazarus Theatre Company specialises in re-imagining classic texts for contemporary audiences. Its playing about with gender is just one of the ways that the ensemble and adapter/director Ricky Dukes, who is also Lazarus’ artistic director, has done so here.

For this discussion, to talk gender, sexuality Shakespeare, patriarchy, learning verse, design feats and how Lazarus has revitalised the playgoing scene in Greenwich – with some very fulsome praise from a local audience member – I was joined by Ricky Dukes and the full 11-strong cast of The Tempest: Micha Colombo (Prospero), Alexander Da Fonseca (Miranda), Abigail Clay (Ariel), Georgina Barley (Caliban), Nikolas Salmon (Alonzo), Peace Oseyenum (Antonio), Aaron Peters (Ferdinand), Conor Hadfield (Gonzalo), David Clayton (Trinculo), James Alston (Stephano) and Eleanor Hardy (Sebastian).

The Tempest is the first of Lazarus’ 2019 Greenwich Theatre season, which continues with its thematic exploration of gender and identity with a revival of its acclaimed co-ed adaptation of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies in March and a salacious new staging of Oscar Wilde‘s Salome. I’ll be back with post-show Q&As for both of these too. In the meantime, please watch and share!

The Tempest continues at Greenwich Theatre until 16 February 2019.

Interval video

Interval tweet at @GreenwichTheatr. Follow @LazarusTheatre from 9.30 for live-tweeting of Q&A with adapter/director Ricky Dukes, @michachloe’s Prospero & the rest of the #gender fluid company.

Talking #Shakespeare, identity, forgiveness & more. Any Qs? pic.twitter.com/OyibswFhzO

— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) February 12, 2019

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Q&A video

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Q&A photos

Event photography by Peter Jones.

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Show photos

Production photography by Adam Trigg.

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Live-tweeting

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Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs the Terri Paddock Group, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She is renowed for her 'legendary' post-show Q&As and also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.
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Terri Paddock on FacebookTerri Paddock on InstagramTerri Paddock on LinkedinTerri Paddock on TwitterTerri Paddock on Youtube
Terri Paddock
Terri Paddock runs the Terri Paddock Group, which provides content and social media marketing services for theatre clients across channels including MyTheatreMates.com, StageFaves.com, Stage Talk and TerriPaddock.com. Previously,
Terri Paddock founded WhatsOnStage.com and the WhatsOnStage Awards, running the company and its events from 1996 to 2013. Terri is also the author of two novels, Come Clean and Beware the Dwarfs, and has previously written for the Evening Standard, Independent, The Times and other national publications. She is renowed for her 'legendary' post-show Q&As and also produces the annual Critics' Circle Theatre Awards and acts as a digital, content strategy and event consultant for theatre, producers and other clients. She tweets about theatre at @TerriPaddock.

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