Heads Bodies Legs are proud to be working in association with Sea-change Theatre Company.
In June 2016 Ray Malone joined Sea-change as theatrical director bringing with her a number of Heads Bodies Legs associates to direct an all-female version of the Tempest. The Tempest was performed on three nights in September in Skala Eressos, on Lesbos in Greece and was produced by Sue Frumin with costume designs by Lu Firth. Sea-change is a women-only company, set up to correct the imbalance of roles for women in theatre and film, and invert the Elizabethan convention of male-only performances.
Shakespeare’s language remained largely intact with baroque-burlesque dance routines, physical comedy, songs and sea-shanties integrated into the production to make the Shakespearean text easily accessible to an international audience. Underscoring the comedy, the production cast subtle comment on a range of contemporary European political crises. The production accentuated the character of Sycorax, a ‘blue-eyed hag’ from Algiers, which allowed exploration of our current discordant attitudes to freedom of movement, whilst the central story of a woman exiled from her own country speaks specifically to the plight of refugees, many of whom are held in camps on the same island, having washed up on the shores of Lesvos and many other Greek islands in the very recent past.
The show drew audiences of over 150 per night responding enthusiastically to the dramatic opening display, set on a real sailing ship, and the ensuing promenade performance past the iconic statues of Sappho, to the harbour at dusk. The show was characterised by an informal, festive atmosphere, with audience members and local children joining in singing, dancing and music making throughout.
The show will continue it’s tour in the UK and Europe in summer 2017