The Tempest is another fine performance of a classical work from the accomplished company The Rude Mechanicals. The incorporation of Celtic music only adds to pleasure of the piece.
Michael Galizia has the powerful stage presence to make an ideal Prospero, magician and centerpiece of this Shakespearean tale. He gives emotional weight to his concerns about his fetching and frisky daughter Miranda (Morrigan Condo), who falls in love with the shipwrecked Ferdinand. Together, they are among the highlights of the performance.
Director Arthur Rowan’s choice to incorporate Celtic music into Tempest is an inspired one. The haunting lyricism of the music, both contemporary and traditional, perfectly complements the mood of this magical island. The songs are touching emotional windows into the souls of the characters and their relationships.
Some cast members sell their songs with energy and verve, even though their voices aren’t equal to the rest of the cast. For example, a spirited ditty about romancing mermaids sung by Caliban (Sean Butler), Stefano (Tom McGrath), and Trinculo (Andy Hall) is a fun interlude in the story. Butler in particular has excellent comic timing and makes his energetic Caliban a pleasure.
It’s a shame that the recorded musical tracks for the songs are relatively bland, depriving the Celtic songs of some of their beauty and character. When the cast comes on stage for a closing number that features the guitar playing of the talented Morrigan Condo, it is easy to understand how much live accompaniment could have added to the show.
Overall, Tempest is another Fringe success for The Rude Mechanicals. Prospero’s island is worth a visit.