The Tempest

The Performance of Spectacle - The Tempest

“This is a most majestic vision”

The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1

How does a theatre company go about solving some of the problems in staging a scene like a ship in a storm? How do you show movement? Wetness? Fear? How do you use background sound to create atmosphere, without missing the lines?

Think about alternative staging possibilities. How would you present the more dramatic or mystical elements, or those that require sudden change or revelation on stage? You do not have the benefit of film, but you can imagine that you have been given any space and any budget you need.

Write down, and illustrate if you wish, at least one idea for staging each of these tricky moments:

  • The shipwreck
  • The disappearing banquet and Ariel entering as a harpy
  • The masque
  • The hell hounds
  • The revelation of Ferdinand and Miranda playing chess.