Culture: The Tempest

What’s on Stage


The last of Phyllida Lloyd’s three-part series of women-only Shakespeare plays, set against the backdrop of a women’s prison, opened at St Anne’s Warehouse on Friday night. Following Julius Caesar and Henry V, The Tempest, starring Harriet Walter as Prospero, is the third and final instalment to come to Brooklyn from London’s Donmar Warehouse.

Prison reform, gender and gender rights are hot topics throughout New York, especially in light of the recent election, and this performance is making a significant contribution to the conversation. And the doubly-confined setting of a fictional island within a prison foreshadows the play’s focus, as Lloyd explains:

“The premise was to take the most voiceless group you might imagine – women prisoners; refugees from our culture, if you like; people without any access to the internet even – and watch them electrify an audience with nothing but Shakespeare’s language.”

Empowering these women with compelling voices and strong, masculine roles, this play is, as The New York Times says, “a multilayered act of liberation”.

13 January 2017 – 19 February 2017.

St Anne’s Warehouse, 45 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

Photos: St Anne’s Warehouse.

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