"The Tempest - Swimming for Beginners" was originally planned to be performed in May 2020. Due to the spread of Covid-19, the date of the performance was postponed, but the artists from each participating country continued to prepare online throughout 2020.
In December 2020, we put together a video message featuring artists from each of the three countries involved in the production. In the video, they talk about what The Tempest means to them, their thoughts on the pandemic, and about the performance. Jenny Sealey, Hiroe Ohashi and Kotaro Yanagi also contributed their thoughts below.
Thoughts from Jenny Sealey
This production has already had a tempestuous journey and there have been many times when I have thought that it would never happen. But the vision, drive and commitment from Owlspot and the British Council with support from Graeae along with the ‘never give up’ attitude of our glorious international cast means it is finally happening. It is not the production we originally envisaged, but it is an authentic response to the pandemic and a whole new re-imagining of everything and a new way of working. I am thrilled to be part of this adventure.
Thoughts from Hiroe Ohashi
I am Hiroe Ohashi, director and performer of The Tempest, Shakespeare's last play. In the midst of Covid-19, I had a feeling that a new type of theatre will be born. This play is created by a diverse and talented group of actors from the UK, Bangladesh and Japan, weaving together different cultures, races, languages and disabilities. I am very excited to see how it turns out. We hope you all enjoy this wonderful melting pot of a production of The Tempest.
Thoughts from Kotaro Yanagi
Participating in Jenny's workshop, I thought "This is amazing". If we can convey her ideas to the audience through our play, it will be fantastic. I want us to all work hard together to accomplish this. For example, when we act a person being blown by the wind, Jenny suggested to not only express the strength of the wind itself, but she also had interesting ideas, such as imagining what would happen to someone if the position of things around them changed, or the strength of the wind changed. I'm really looking forward to her direction. I hope you will come and see our performance at the theatre.
Audio described version of the film is available from here.
Name of the performance: "The Tempest - Swimming for Beginners"
Date: Tuesday 1 - Sunday 6 June 2021
Venue: Owlspot Theatre (Toshima Performing Arts Centre)
Performance schedule and ticket information