Full casting is announced today for the RSC’s forthcoming production of The Tempest, which opens in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in November 2016 to conclude Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary year. 

This production of Shakespeare’s late play, in collaboration with Intel and in association with The Imaginarium Studios, has been in development since September 2015, and aims to break new boundaries in theatre-making with the very first live motion capture performance appearing in a major classical stage production.

As previously announced, Gregory Doran directs the award-winning Simon Russell Beale as Prospero, as he returns to the Company for the first time in over 20 years.  Mark Quartley plays Ariel, and will be taking on a whole new area of stage craft by wearing a motion capture suit, live on the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage. This allows the movements of his ‘avatar’ Ariel to be projected on and around the stage, including flying and morphing into different versions of the spirit through the power of Intel technology.

Mark’s previous theatre work includes Written on the Heart and Measure for Measure (RSC 2011/12), Private Peaceful (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Macbeth (Trafalgar Studios), Ghosts (Rose theatre, Kingston) and a regular role in the television comedy Hoff the Record.

He is joined by RSC Associate Artist Joe Dixon who returns to the company to play Caliban.

Other cast includes Alison Arnopp (Spirit), Jonathan Broadbent (Antonio), Laura Cairns (Spirit), Elly Condron (Iris), Daniel Easton (Ferdinand), Caleb Frederick (Spirit), Sarah Kameela Impey (Spirit), Tony Jayawardena (Stephano), Matthew McPherson (Francisco), Joseph Mydell (Gonzalo), Jenny Rainsford (Miranda), Darren Raymond (Boatswain), Joe Shire (Master of the Ship), Oliver Towse (Adrian), Simon Trinder (Trinculo), James Tucker (Alonso), Tom Turner (Sebastian),

The production is designed by RSC Director of Design Stephen Brimson Lewis, with Digital Character Creation by The Imaginarium Studios, Video by Finn Ross and Lighting by Simon Spencer.  Music is composed by Paul Englishby with Sound by Jeremy Dunn and Andrew Franks and Movement by Lucy Cullingford.

Conduct the Storm

To accompany this production the RSC presents Conduct the Storm, a free interactive installation in the front of house space of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Conduct the Storm is created by digital creative agency Flying Object, and inspired by the violent storm which causes the shipwreck at the start of The Tempest.

On Level 2 in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, users will be able to whip up and control a storm with hand gestures. Tom Pursey of Flying Object said the installation will create an “unexpected and powerful experience” for audiences. The idea for the installation came from “exploring the technology and understanding the connection between hand movements and on-screen effects. That was then cross-referenced against the production, while trying to do something that the production wouldn’t by putting the control of nature’s forces into the hands of the audience and thus bringing viewers into the world of the play in a new way.”

Audiences can come and conduct the storm on Level 2 of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 8 November 2016 – 21 January 2017

Conduct the Storm has been created by Flying Object, commissioned by the RSC in collaboration with Intel, and will integrate Intel technology to help create an intuitive and immersive experience.

Prospero’s Cell

Prospero’s Cell is an exhibition in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre’s PACCAR Room inspired by The Tempest. Created by Flying Object, This creative take on the island from the play sees Prospero’s magical powers re-imagined as modern wizardry. The exhibition space becomes his cave from which he surveys people and controls the remote island.

Tom Pursey, of Flying Object says: “The Cell will be an unusual exhibition – you’ll step into the Cell itself as if Prospero and Miranda have just left, and rummage around what you find there.”

The Tempest 

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Gregory Doran

Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon from 8 November 2016 – 21 January 2017

Press night: Thursday 17 November, 7pm

Live from Stratford-upon-Avon screening: Wednesday 11 January, 7pm

Booking: 01789 403493 or

For further information, please contact 0207 845 0512

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