Open-Air Shakespeare Comes To Scilly

miracle theatre company 2014Four days of Shakespeare performed in the open-air starts in Scilly today.

And by coincidence, Miracle Theatre Company’s 20th performance in Scilly is the same play, The Tempest, that the Cornwall-based group first put on here two decades ago.

Simon Norbury plays two roles – Prospero and Trinculo.

If you disliked your brush with Shakespeare in school, those memories shouldn’t put you off.

Simon says their artistic Director Bill Scott has edited the script to ensure it makes sense to a 21st Century audience and the result is something that’s approachable and “user-friendly.”

Hannah Stephens is playing both Sebastian and Miranda. This is her first year working with Miracle but she’s been to St Mary’s before, staying with a local family as a teenager.

She says every venue they visit is different but she thinks this time Scilly will be special, because The Tempest itself is set on an island.

With such a small cast playing multiple roles, scene changes can be difficult. Simon says at one point, he has just 20 seconds to change costume between appearances.

Annie Ukleja, the company’s Manager, arranges all the logistics of packing up the stage and props and moving them between the mainland and the islands.

She says they have to be organised but they’ve done it so many times now that everyone “knows the drill.”

Annie says there have been headaches and scary moments over the years, with things like electrical problems minutes before the show, but she says someone always manages to turn up to help them out.

As always, the company welcomes the audience to take picnics to make the show into a night out.

Tonight they have a new Tresco venue at Old Grimsby, near the Sea Garden Cottages. That replaces the Abbey Gardens where they have performed previously.

The show starts at 6.30pm. Tomorrow, the show moves on to St Mary’s Chaplaincy Gardens for three nights, with performances starting at 8pm.

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