Spectacular! Shakespeare's last play, The Tempest is full of fantasy, love and drama, perfectly suited to a promenade production in the grounds of The Iris Theatre.

Set in many locations across a magical Island, we follow the cast as they travel round the theatre space and into the garden as the scenes change. The grounds of the Iris Theatre in Covent Garden are beautiful dressed by set designer Mike Leopold, with small flowers, moss and coloured rope around trees with spotted round lights and lampposts to add to the sense of enchantment and fantasy. Sitting on benches around these beautiful sets, certainly beats red velvet seats indoors with weather like this.

Passionate performances from the entire cast propelled the action, with obvious chemistry between them. Ariel (Charlotte Christensen) in particular stood out; a talented actor musician who sang and played the flute. She conveyed the desperation of Ariel who so wanted freedom from the bond to magician Prospero (Jamie Newall), but remained incredibly loyal having been trapped in a tree and freed by Prospero. Newall too gives a powerful performance, conveying the complexity of Prospero with deep love for his daughter and intense pain from the betrayal by his brother who forced him of his dukedom and set him to sea.

The costumes, designed by Anna Sances, were fascinating. So well designed and crafted. A great mix of 17th century style, without being distracting.Overall a great experience, with the music, acting and set design, tied together with some of the bards most famous poetry and a timeless storyline. A must see for Shakespeare lovers and sceptics alike.

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” – The Tempest