You have been given the job of producing a modern BBC TV adaptation of The Tempest.

Authors Avatar by shakz1234 (student)

I would choose to set my own adaptation of The Tempest in a dark coastal area, perhaps towards the North of England as it is generally windier and tends to have cold temperatures, as it echoes a sense of darkness and mystique. This setting in itself can be used to create an eerie and foreboding mise-en-scene. Shakespeare’s Tempest features a mystical island; this can be replicated well in such coastal areas as they can be easily recreated to appear desolate, identical to how it is in the play – on a magical island. To complement this, special effects such as rainy/foggy weather can be used to create pathetic fallacy, especially in scenes such as when the actual tempest occurs in Act One. The weather would be a replication of the great storm, which forces the characters onto the island. Unlike Julia Taymor’s 2010 film adaptation, I would remain faithful to Shakespeare’s script/dialogue and retain the final epilogue between Prospero and the audience. In doing so, there remains an air of the authentic, archaic language that Shakespeare intended.

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Inevitably there will be some modernising (visual and SFX) especially in scenes such as the ‘splitting of the ship’ at the beginning, but this will not be as intrusive as in Taymor’s adaptation; I would use these effects minimally – specifically to dramatise characters such as Ariel, Prospero and Caliban. I would also utilise it, as a form of catharsis, to reconstruct important motifs such as the coloniser (Prospero) vs. the native colonised (Caliban). In addition to this, certain special effects could add dimension to Shakespeare’s play. This idea of a magical island would be better illustrated, stagecraft for instance ...

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