The travelling theatre company Footsbarn will return to Shakespeare's Globe in London with its production Indian Tempest following a yearlong tour of Europe and India. Director Paddy Hayter's riotous and eccentric take on a Shakespeare classic brings together Indian and European actors—representing 12 different nationalities—plus a host of spirits, beasts, and monsters in a production evoking themes of power, desire, illusion, and rebellion. It will be performed in English, Malayalam, French, and Sanskrit.
Footsbarn is one of the world's leading travelling theater companies. Having begun life in a Cornish barn in 1971, Footsbarn left Britain in 1984 to take its unique brand of theater to international audiences. It has spent almost 30 years touring the world, performing in the company's own custom-designed circus tent across six continents.
In Footsbarn's interpretation of The Tempest, Caliban journeys from king, to slave, and then once again master of the island. The production will feature shadow and string puppets, actors behind huge masks, and an eclectic offering of live music.
Indian Tempest began life during a residency in the 2012 European Capital of Culture, Guimarães, Portugal. Footsbarn's actors, musicians, and designers decamped to Guimarães for three months, where they were joined by friends and colleagues from Kerala, India. Cast and creatives became part of the local community, conducting workshops, holding serrões (social evenings), and inviting school groups to pass a morning in their tent village. Out of this multiracial and polyglot adventure grew a Tempest that celebrates theater at its most unpredictable and enchanting.
Footsbarn previously appeared at the Globe in the Christmas Cracker, the first winter show ever performed in the open-air theater. The company's other previous productions include Sorry!, The Man Who Laughs and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Indian Tempest will play at Shakespeare's Globe July 29–Aug. 3. After its run at the Globe, Footsbarn will be taking Indian Tempest on a European tour.
July 12, 2013