Despite tempestuous weather conditions outside, a group of hardy Friends members and their guests enjoyed a wonderful introduction to the upcoming performance of Shakespeare's The Tempest at TMAG. Director Robert Jarman recounted how months of planning for the staging of the play in the basement of the Bond Store went up in smoke when he walked into the Central Gallery on the opening night of Tempest. From the moment he saw the space remodelled as Prospero's Library, that was where the play would be held -- the set was already in place. Minor logistical problems could be worked out as they went along.
Accompanying Robert was designer Bill Dowd, who showed us two of the costumes: Caliban's, with its allusions to his fish-like character, and Prospero's cloak, emblazoned with maps of the known world. So newly minted were the costumes that Guy Hooper, who plays Prospero, had his first sighting of the cloak, along with the audience.
Guy gave us one of the key speeches, while Fiona Stewart played guitar and sang. It was certainly a great teaser for the upcoming performances!