Treasure Island and The Tempest play West Sussex and Brighton dates

There will be a certain poignancy as West Sussex touring theatre company This Is My Theatre take The Tempest on the road this summer.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 8:35 am
Ethan Taylor

As associate artistic director Ethan Taylor – one of the four actors in the production – explains: “It is really going to be quite pertinent for us. Last year, The Tempest was the first show we had to cancel when everything started shutting down in March. We had planned to go out with The Tempest in April last year.

“And then suddenly it was not going to happen. We had already done quite a fair deal of the marketing. We had booked the tour. We hadn’t started rehearsals. We hadn’t quite got to that stage, but it was still very upsetting. There were a lot of sad emails being sent around those first few weeks, having had to pull the show.

“So it is really nice to be relaunching the show now.”

The Tempest will play The Hawth Theatre (open-air) Crawley, June 16, 7pm; Danny House (open-air), Hurstpierpoint, June 22, 7pm; and Preston Old Church, Brighton, June 29, 7.30pm.

For 12 years Prospero, the rightful duke of Milan, has dwelt on an island after his brother Antonio betrayed him and cast him adrift in a small boat. For 12 years he has plotted revenge on those who overthrew him...

“Classical language combines with live music and choral sea shanties to bring what is thought to be the bard’s final play to life,” Ethan said.

“A tale of revenge, love and forgiveness, this is sure to delight audiences of all ages.”

Inevitably, this year’s production is going to be rather different to the production which would have toured last year: “We like to use the aisles and we usually try to get down low with the audience, but obviously we are not going to be doing that this year.”

The cast of four are bubbled up – and the audiences will be socially distanced throughout the tour.

“But it is a really interesting play to do. It comes from an older voice, an older perspective, a greater sense of nostalgia. At the end Prospero has done everything he can to survive. He has got there by hook or by crook, but in the end he breaks his staff and he is ready to return to society.”

A parallel to what we have all been through? Well, maybe: “You could draw the parallels, but we are not going to be hammering them out. There is a lot of fun and magic and sprites and multiple stories. It is going to be great.”

The Tempest will be touring – delivered by the same cast of four – alongside This Is My Theatre’s production of Treasure Island

When an old sea dog Billy-Bones takes refuge at The Admiral Benbow Inn, young Jim Hawkins is drawn into the world of pirates as the search for Captain Flint’s fortune begins.

Treasure Island will play Preston Old Church, Brighton, May 25, 7.30pm; The Hawth Theatre (open-air), Crawley May 30, 3pm; and The Paddock (open-air), Upper Beeding, June 3, 4pm.

Again Ethan is promising great fun: “Treasure Island is one of those great adventure stories. It doesn’t try to be too deep in its message. It is just a lot of fun. And when we think of pirates, this is what we think of, the one-legged seafaring man, the parrot, the ship, the buried treasure. It is action-packed – and there is going to be a lot of fights. And there will be a lot of sea shanties. We love a good sea shanty!”

Inevitably, Treasure Island – just like The Tempest – will be quite some world to conjure with just four in the cast: “There is going to be an awful lot of multi-roling, a lot of different hats and a lot of quick costume changes. We will let the costumes and the hats do a lot of the work!”

Full tour details on https://www.thisismytheatre.com/