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Of Dreams and Wishes

A Christmas wishlist went round FB. I tried to participate but just couldn't do it. So instead I will talk about a wish I have, my own wish about directing a version of Shakespeare's Tempest. Actually, there are two.

One is a production of the play straightforward in all things except its setting; the Norfolk Broads, with the audience sitting on boats, and scenes being played out on little islands and inlets all around. Here Prospero is a rag and wode conjuror, while his girl Miranda makes her dresses out of fishing nets and they live between old lanterns and masts from lost ships. The grendel howls, and marshlights illuminate their story on little lost England, far from mighty Milan.

The other is an adaption. It is based on the island of Socotra off the gulf of Aden. Prospero is an English diplomat working in the Yemen in the early 60s, when the Brits leave. He has been dabbling in Yemenese witchcraft, and decides he can't return to England - that there's nothing for him there. So he steals away to Socotra, the magical island. There, he meets Sycorax, a sorceress feared by the islanders and they have an affair, which ends badly when Prospero tries to train Sycorax's son Caliban to be his servant. Prospero drives Sycorax away, and forces the islanders to make her outcast. She disappears. 9 months later, island nomads bring a baby to Prospero, claiming that the child is the result of his liason with Sycorax. He brings the little one up in his own little world of magical supremacy, served by Caliban and the djinn of Socotra. And all is well until a boat arrives from the outside world...

There now, that's a dream.

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