South Hill Park

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The Tempest – Blog 2!

June 20, 2016



Our designer Patsy Fraser, bringing the characters to life through costume, inspired by the Beegees, Abba, John Travolta and Joan Collins!


The Tempest costume concept and context

The concept for the 2016 Bart Lee version of The Tempest was inspired by the sixties and seventies and the summer of love phenomenon starting in San Francesco in 1967. The hippy counterculture of this period seemed an interesting parallel to Prospero’s and Miranda’s arrival to the island and their very different lives there. Prospero is likened to a guru or commune leader with powerful magical abilities, he is Lord of the isle. Ariel is of the air and earth and so there are nine Ariels who are funky free spirited ethereal hippy chicks.

The Lords and Dukes who are washed up on the island twelve years later in 1979 are based on a selection of The Bee Gees, Abba, John Travolta, and Joan Collins, all slick smart powerful and a little ridiculous. Times have moved on and women are now Queens, no longer the male dominated work place, how will Prospero manage this family invasion with new ideals!? Will he be able to maintain his control over the island and his guests, can he really take the new world on board?