As one of Shakespeare’s mot famous and enigmatic characters, it is almost impossible to say anything about Prospero that hasn’t already been said somewhere by someone with far more knowledge of the play that I will ever possess. This does not prevent me tough from commenting on his last incarnation by Roger Allen in this season’s production at The Globe.
As Michael Billington commented in The Guardian, this is a Propero that brings something new to the role and that adds to the powerful magician and seasoned ruler a more human facet. There are delightful scenes between him and Miranda, well-played by Jessie Bucklely, were you can really see how much these two characters cherish and care for each other. And the dance scene is just precious.
But of course you cannot talk about The Tempest without talking about Caliban. James Garnon’s performance is convincing and solid but it fails to create the sort on empathy that postcolonial readings of the play would highlight. Much more than physical appearance, at least for me, it was his apish body language and posture that contributed to my emotional disconnection with impersonation of the character.
All in all, it was Allen’s afternoon as he really steals the show and at the end makes you almost hold your hands so he cannot be freed and remains on stage to give you more.
Read The Guardian review