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SHAKE Festival presents

SHAKE Festival is deep in rehearsal for their live reading of The Tempest which will be performed on Zoom on 19 November at 7.30pm GMT.

The star-studded cast is lead by Geraldine James as Prospero and Rebecca Hall as Ariel with a cast of young stars of TV and film, including Lauryn Canny, Amesh Edireweera, Antonio Aakeel and Aidan Cheng. Olivier Award nominee Robert Hands reads Sebastian, and Wendy Morgan, Tim Fitzhigham and David Sibley are also amongst the excellent cast.

The reading will be directed by Jenny Hall, who once played Miranda in The Tempest at the National Theatre, directed by her father Sir Peter Hall.

‘At a time when our theatres are closed and live theatre feels like a distant memory, I saw the opportunity Zoom gives us to present a live reading with a magnificent international cast, and where we can pass on the great skills of verse speaking to a new generation of outstanding young talents,’ explains Hall.

Aidan Cheng says, ‘I’m having so much fun exploring  another side of The Tempest, away from kings and sorcerers, and into earthy, comical, very human territory. The cast are sublime, and as a young actor, reading Stephano, it’s a real privilege to work with  heavyweights such as Geraldine James and director Jenny Hall. We could not have asked for better captains at the helm as we dive into this storm of a play!’

Lauryn Canny, ‘To get to take on the beautiful role of Miranda in this incredible play with such an extraordinary cast is a dream come true, and feels even more special in a year like this. To get to soak up the boundless knowledge of legends such as Geraldine James is a complete honour and I feel especially lucky to venture into the world of Shakespeare for the first time surrounded by so many talented folk.’

Amesh Edireweera, who plays Caliban, ‘The Tempest has left a dent of passion for me to push off into more exploration into Shakespeare. Jenny is phenomenal as a director, she truly feels the words that are spoken by her actors. I feel a deep sense of gratitude for having spent time learning from her. All of the actors are ridiculously brilliant at reading this stuff …. should be a hoot!’

Antonio Aakeel, as Ferdinand, ‘As young actors we are sometimes fearful of Shakespeare but the introduction I’ve had to the language has far surpassed any training I’ve had prior, and I’ve learned furthermore what a gift Shakespeare is to our creative world. Everything exists within the text. It’s been an incredible baptism by fire, but I’m learning from the best in the game.’

Zoom Tickets are £10 per household.