The Tempest

The Tempest

Written by William Shakespeare
Performed in Russian
2011–2014

“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

The Moscow Chekhov International Festival’s forceful production of The Tempest. Cheek by Jowl’s Russian sister company brings to life this disturbing masque of power, control and illusion. Shakespeare juggles magic, laughter, danger and love with all the flair and freedom of his maturity. Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod’s internationally renowned Russian ensemble, whose ‘acting is nothing short of sublime’ (The Times), have also performed in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Measure for Measure, Twelfth Night, Three Sisters and Boris Godunov.

A Chekhov International Festival production in association with Cheek by Jowl, with support from Les Gémeaux/Sceaux/Scène Nationale. This production is suitable for 16+. The first performance of this production was at Les Gémeaux, Sceaux, Paris, on 26th January 2011.

“It is faithful and outrageous, comic and moving. It is Irish and Russian. It is a peak of world literature. It is Shakespeare at his greatest, at his most universal.”

Le Figaro
Cast and creative team

Cast

NameCharacter
Mikhail ZhigalovKing Alonso
Pavel KuzminSebastian
Igor YasulovichProspero
Evgeny SamarinAntonio
Yan IlvesFerdinand
Alexander LenkovGonzalo
Sergey ZaitsevAdrian
Vadim NorshteinFrancisco
Alexander FeklistovCaliban
Ilia IlinTrinculo
Sergey KoleshynaStephano
Maxim OnishchenoMaster of the Ship
Gela MeskhiBoatswain
Anna VardevanianMiranda
Andrey KuzichevAriel

Creative Team

RoleName
DirectorDeclan Donnellan
DesignerNick Ormerod
Lighting DesignerKristina Hjelm
MusicDmitry Volkov
Assistant DirectorKirill Sbitnev
ChoreopgrapherKonstantin Mishin
Assistant ChoreographerIrina Koshuba
Interpreter / Literary ConsultantAnna Kolesnikova
Costume Designer’s AssistantNatalia Vedeneeva
Stage ManagerOlga Vasilevskaya
Company ManagerOlga Sharapova
Technical DirectorVladimir Kizeev
Tour ManagerAnna Krasnova
Previous performances

Previous Performances

DateLocation
23–25 April 2014Caracas, Venezuela
16–20 April 2014Bogotá, Columbia
1–3 October 2013Seoul, Korea
21 April 2013Samara, Opera and Ballet Theatre, Russia
20 April 2013Samara, Russia
16–17 April 2013Ekaterinburg, Russia
27–29 January 2013Montevideo, Uruguay
18–20 January 2013Santiago de Chile, Chile
19 June 2012Moscow, Mossovyet Theatre, Russia
16–18 March 2012Beijing, China
17–19 February 2012Taipei, Taiwan
1–4 December 2011Barcelona, Spain
16–17 November 2011Moscow, Pushkin Drama Theatre, Russia
30 June–1 July 2011Naples, Italy
4–5 June 2011Voronezh, Platonov Festival, Russia
25–27 May 2011Moscow, Mossovyet Theatre, Russia
7–16 April 2011London, Barbican, UK
16–19 March 2011Southampton, Nuffield Theatre, UK
8–12 March 2011Oxford, Oxford Playhouse, UK
3–5 March 2011Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre, UK
26 January–12 February 2011Sceaux, Les Gémeaux, Paris, France
1988–1989See also – Cheek by Jowl’s previous 1988 production of The Tempest
Reviews

Reviews

“A rough, harsh Tempest…Fine, fresh, bold…Every character is played with heart, from the inside out.”

Michael Coveney, The Independent

“A Tempest blessed with wild invention, blazing performances and a final sense of unsettlingly qualified forgiveness.”

Charles Spencer, The Telegraph

“Remarkable, wittily inventive… Makes us see The Tempest in a new light.”

Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Superb… An astonishing company of Russian actors… Startling and insightful.”

Susannah Clapp, The Observer

“Moments of exquisite lyricism elide with anguish and violence… Mesmerisingly performed in Russian… tidal force… an astute and absorbing vision of cruelty and compassion.”

Sam Marlowe, The Times

“It is faithful and outrageous, comic and moving. It is Irish and Russian. It is a peak of world literature. It is Shakespeare at his greatest, at his most universal.”

Armelle Héliot, Le Figaro
Production photo
Andrey Kuzichev and Yan Ilves. Photograph: Johan Persson.
Production photo
Evgeny Samarin, Mikhail Zhigalov and Pavel Kuzmin. Photograph: Johan Persson.
Production photo
Mikhail Zhigalov and Ilia Ilin. Photograph: Johan Persson.

“This is a Tempest blessed with wild invention, blazing performances and a final sense of unsettlingly qualified forgiveness.”

The Telegraph

We are acting in a play we have never read and never seen, whose plot we don’t know, whose existence we can only glimpse, whose beginning and end are beyond our present imagination and conception.

R.D. Laing

Hell is empty and all the devils are here.

Act I, scene ii

We are such stuff
As dreams are made on: and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep

Act IV, scene i

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