Thursday, 26 November 2015

This Last Tempest preview @ Contact 26-27.10.15

Contact Theatre is one of the most innovative theatres in the North West, consistently presenting creative works that are thought provoking, outspoken and daring. Productions presented at Contact often cross art forms, creating wonderful and wacky hybrids. This summer I experienced Sensored, a day of creative events that merged sound, smell, texture, music, dance and theatre; this multi-art-form approach allowed something really powerful to come through and was a fantastic insight to Contact's creative amplitude. So it's safe to say that Contact is the perfect venue to host the upcoming collaborative project This Last Tempest. 

On hearing the title, some readers may have immediately thought of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which they would be correct to do so. However This Last Tempest is a sequel and radical taken on the Shakespearean classic, that is equally accessible to audiences familiar and new to Shakespeare. Created by producing organisation Fuel and internationally acclaimed theatre company Uninvited Guests, this show fits perfectly with Contact’s innovative programming, promising an experience which is part theatre part gig. 

Beginning where Shakespeare left off, Ariel and Caliban are left alone on an enchanted island as Prospero's ship sails over the horizon and out of sight. In the hours that follow spawns a spectacle of magic where the spirit and creature weave unheard versions of the story, and conjure up what we mortals thought impossible; a world where humans are monsters and inanimate things come to life. 

With a an already stunningly visual play as its inspiration, this immersive experience is set to be like no other with an atmospheric soundscape by composer and musician Neil Johnson creating a strange but familiar world for both characters and audience. The concept of the piece is refreshingly simple, but one which removes limitations and enables the creative team to demonstrate their overwhelming creative ability.

The play has a strong key theme of freedom and questions the notion of utopia. We have all done it, where we hope for a better tomorrow or have the belief that a different time and place would bring us happiness; This Last Tempest explores what happens when one finally gets what they have been yearning for and maybe the grass isn't always greener. Although it would be easy for the audience to draw political parallels the company aim to empower their audiences to create their own meaning.  
Uninvited Guests are a company of national and international acclaim, melding the lines of theatre and social festivities to provoke and stimulate their audiences to think about the world around them and the times we live in. This Last Tempest is a brilliant example of these aims, which I urge you to take in while you have the chance.

This Last Tempest 
Thursday 26 November 8pm
Friday 27 November 8pm

Words: Kate Morris
Images: Aerial 3 is by Tom Medwell; This Last Tempest and Ariel in Flight by Ben Pacey

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