"Do not torment me, prithee"
Last up in the RSC's Shipwreck Trilogy, in the What country friends is this? season was The Tempest. In some ways I wish I'd seen this closer to The Comedy of Errors and Twelfth Night (which I saw on consecutive days in June) as the thrill of watching an ensemble across multiple plays is magnified much more that way. As it was, my enthusiasm for The Tempest - never one of my favourite Shakespeares and now totally ruined by the fact that I've now seen what will probably the best version ever - had waned slightly as I returned to the Roundhouse.
The reality was neither as bad as I had feared nor as good as I might have hoped. David Farr's production (I wish they'd gotten in a third director to really mix things up) has its moments of inspiration and interest, but these are scattered throughout rather than invigorating the whole show and so my abiding feeling was of unevenness. For the great visual impact of Prospero having the islanders dress in identikit suits, little is done to enliven the immense amount of speechifying that the character does, Jonathan Slinger's performance having a strangely unnerving impact more than anything.