We collaborated with Yellowbelly Theatre to create this original and bold adaptation of The Tempest, exploring the European Migration Crisis. Set against a backdrop of mass migration and political corruption in the year 2020, fragments of Verbatim Journalism and striking digital projections punctuate Shakespeare’s original scenes. The Tempest toured for the first time in Autumn 2016, raising £1,650 for Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
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First there was poverty, persecution and war. People fled for fear, and searched for safety. By 2015, more than one million people had arrived in Europe by boat, rail or road. 5,411 of these were reported dead or missing that same year. Some were lucky and granted asylum. Others were stranded between our borders. Camps were built across the continent.
In 2016 came the closing of borders, armed police, Detention Centres. We built fences. Words like ‘foreign’ began to spread fear. ‘Immigrant’ came to mean parasite. By 2017 Europe had reached breaking point.
It is now 2020. Thousands of people, already displaced, continue to search for home. Among them is Prospero. Once powerful – then overthrown by Antonio – Prospero is stranded on ‘The Island’, a migrant camp. When a passing ship of politicians and dignitaries – amongst them Antonio – ventures close to The Island, Prospero seizes an opportunity for justice by summoning a fearsome tempest.