Presented by Sea-change Theatre
By William Shakespeare
Adapted by Sue Frumin
Directed by Ray Malone
“Be not afeared; the isle is full of noises”
Caliban Scene Act 3 Scene 2
Sea-change Theatre are an all-female company who create
bold new work through reimagined classical texts whilst
celebrating diversity and challenging hetero-norms and tired
In 2016 the company took their performance of The Tempest
to Skala Eressos Women’s Festival in Lesbos, Greece where
it’s promenade performance was a resounding success.
In 2017 Sea-change took their teasing, gender-bending feast
to The Rose Playhouse on Bankside in June and to L-Fest
in Loughborough on the wettest weekend in July.
Sea-change Theatre’s first production was an adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest, part of the Skala Eressos Women’s Festival in September 2016 in Lesvos, Greece. In doing so the company brought together a professional team of theatre-makers and local people, to celebrate both Greek and Shakespearean culture on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
Sue Frumin's decision to accentuate the character of Sycorax, a ‘blue-eyed hag’ from Algiers, allowed exploration of our current discordant attitudes to freedom of movement, whilst the central story of a woman exiled from her own country speaks specifically to the plight of refugees, many of whom are held in camps on the same island, having washed up on the shores of Lesvos and many other Greek islands in the very recent past.
Designer Lu Firth created striking costumes which referenced the refugee crisis & Brexit with the costume details of the EU & the St. George flagwhile Miranda’s skirt hung heavy with safety pins to symbolise solidarity with the refugees. Ray Malone joined Sea-change as Theatrical Director in June 2016, and brought her satirical style to the production. Her addition of baroque-burlesque dance routines, physical comedy, songs and sea-shanties, were devised to make the Shakespearean text easily accessible to an international audience. Underscoring the comedy, the production cast subtle comment on a range of contemporary European political crises.
Despite the ever-present danger of scorpions, live-flames, open water, angry fishermen, barking dogs and motor-cyclists, the play met with instant success, with large audiences of over 150 per night responding enthusiastically to the dramatic opening display, set on a real sailing ship, and the ensuing promenade performance past the iconic statues of Sappho, to the harbour at dusk. The show was characterised by an informal, festive atmosphere, with audience members and local children joining in singing, dancing and music making throughout.