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The Tempest

The Tempest

Written by William Shakespeare
Performed in English

“There is something very modern about this character who is desperately learning to forgive. Prospero is learning how to deal with the fact that reality is not how he would like it to be; and he has lived in a very controlled universe and he is trying to break free of that. He has got to sort out the relationship with his daughter, his relationship with his environment and his relationship with himself.

He must learn how to forgive, and the play is about someone screaming noisily trying to learn how to forgive and leaving the world of revenge behind him. It’s a very anarchic play.”
– Declan Donnellan, Artistic Director, on The Tempest

Produced by Cheek by Jowl. The first performance of The Tempest was on 11th August 1988, at the Villa Communale in Taormina, Italy.

“Declan Donnellan’s Tempest is the most inventive I have ever seen. A gripping rediscovery of the play”

The Sunday Times
Cast and creative team


Timothy WalkerProspero
Cecilia NobleMiranda
Charlie RoeAntonio
Anne WhiteThe Queen of Naples
Lloyd OwenFerdinand
Dale RapleySebastian
Trevor BaxterGonzalo
Paterson JosephAdrian
Keith BartlettStephano
Michael JennTrinculo
Peter DarlingAriel
Duncan DuffCaliban

Creative Team

DirectorDeclan Donnellan
DesignerNick Ormerod
MusicPaddy Cunneen
Lighting DesignersNick Ormerod & Steve Rate
Assistant DirectorDeclan Hughes
ChoreographerSara van Beers
VoicePatsy Rodenburg
Previous performances

Previous Performances

Date (first performance)LocationNo. of performances
5 April 1989Ankara, Devlet Tiyatrosu, Turkey2
31 March 1989Istanbul, Devlet Tiyatrosu, Turkey2
23 March 1989Bucharest, Teatrul Nacional, Romania3
18 March 1989Bratislava, National Theatre, Slovakia1
13 March 1989Prague, National Theatre, Czech Republic2
7 March 1989Oslo, Norske Teatret, Norway3
21 February 1989Stratford Upon Avon, The Swan, UK4
6 February 1989Perth, New Fortune Theatre, Australia7
27 January 1989Kuala Lumpur, Aud Dewan Bandaraya, Malaysia3
21 January 1989Singapore, Victoria Theatre, Singapore3
22 November 1988London, Donmar Warehouse, UK28
14 November 1988Coventry, Arts Centre, UK5
7 November 1988Winchester, Theatre Royal, UK5
31 October 1988Basildon, Townsgate Theatre, UK4
27 October 1988Cambridge, Cambridge Arts Theatre, UK2
17 October 1988Brighton, Gardner Castle, UK5
10 October 1988Bury St Edmunds, Theatre Royal, UK4
4 October 1988Bracknell, Wilde Theatre, UK4
30 September 1988Taunton, Brewhouse Theatre, UK3
11 August 1988Taormina, Villa Communale, Italy3
MoreSee also – Cheek by Jowl’s 2011–2014 production of The Tempest
Awards and reviews


Olivier Award nomination – Designer of the Year

1988 – For A Family Affair, Philoctetes and The Tempest at the Donmar Warehouse


“Declan Donnellan’s Tempest is the most inventive I have ever seen. A gripping rediscovery of the play”

Sunday Times

“A revolutionary rethinking of the text”

Production photo
Photograph: Robert Workman
Production photo
Photograph: Robert Workman

“A revolutionary rethinking of the text”


O, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is!
O brave new world, That has such people in’t.

Act V, Scene i

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main.

John Donne, Meditation XVII

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