After a few little tempests of our own, the skies cleared at last for a production of Shakespeare’ last play, The Tempest. The storm which opens the play swept us into the world of Steampunk complete with flying machines and a genuine ship’s wheel. So much happened in those first few minutes, and we were quite astonished to see a QUEEN of Naples! And TWO Ariels , now twisting together & now dividing to become two spirits as they obeyed Propero’s commands. From then on, we were hooked! And the magic continued as a towering, blue-black Caliban,( radiating danger and futile rage) encountered Stephano and Trinculo, as neat a double act as you could meet, and plotted to kill Prospero.

There wasn’t a dull moment in this production, every character was strong and clear cut, this island was indeed full of sweet noise and brilliant colour – Prospero’s cloak deserved a round of applause of its own – so our thanks to Southend Shakespeare Company for a truly magical afternoon.