(Production by: Emad Alzahrani)
(Adopting William Shakespeare play “The Tempest”)
A new production for William Shakespeare play is always a challenge because William Shakespeare plays have been overdone and bring something new to it to wow the audience is a quite difficult. In this production, I generally prefer to use comedian plays, having also magic as an essential element. These kinds of plays have the contrast flavour of bitter sweet and the charm of the powerful magic, used carefully to control the plays events. “A Midsummer Night Dream,” “Macbeth,” and “The Tempest” are the most knowledgeable comedy plays with magic for Shakespeare. However “The Tempest” is the least of them, having been produced. There are other reasons, related to the big final pictures of the new production make “The Tempest” to be chosen from all those plays, which have the same theme.
The Tempest probably was written in 1610-1611, and was first performed at Court by the King’s Men in the fall of 1611. The Tempest is most likely the last play written by Shakespeare, and it is remarkable for being one of only two plays by Shakespeare whose plot is entirely original. The play does, however, draw on travel literature of its time.
The play is going to be preformed in Arabian countries, such as Syria, Egypt, and Kingdom of Bahrain. Also, the content of this play is similar to traditional myth stories in Arabian culture. The kind of stories that have magic, wicked greedy brother, wise man, spirits (gini), and beautiful girl who never met men before and forced to listen to her parents. Therefore, it really suits the Arabian culture and it would interest the Arabian audience. In addition, Arabian area have suffered during the history a lot of kings and leaders who cut off from his region or took over others, and it is always interesting how the power moves from person to another and what lesson would be learned throughout their stories.
The story in this new play is going to be changed from the original one in Shakespeare play to suits the audience state and culture. First of all, the place of the story is going to be in the area between Syria and Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire. This area is chosen because it is located close to the Arabian Desert, having a beautiful oasis called “Salma”, where exactly the play is going to happen. The island has been changed because desert is related more to the Arabian culture than the sea. Also, the sea storm will be changed to sand storm with full of horror and firestones. In addition, the main characters would be different in some ways.
The main characters of this play are going to be the son of the wizard prince (the daughter in the original play) and the daughter of the Ottoman emperor (the son of Napoli king in the original play), so the gender is swapped to give the play new direction. This character’s attitude affects the play fully from the beginning to the end. Moreover, the characters names are replaced with Arabic ones. Thus, the story is going tell about the son of a wizard (Taim= Miranda, girl in the original play) who is confused by his father (Hashem= Prospero in the original play) rejection of teaching him about magic and the one who fells in love with the Ottoman emperor’s daughter (Sulaf = Ferdinand, Man in the original play). This girl supposes to marry a prince from Persian, but she is dragged to “Salma” oasis with her father (Almuataz= Alonso in the original play), her uncle (Azam= Sebastian in the original play), the wizard’s brother (Rasheed= Antonio in the original play), the king counsellor (Sulaiman= Gonzalo in the original play), the drunk head servant (Salem = Stephano in the original play ), and the jerk (Mushmush = Trinculo in the original play) by the sand storm, caused by the spirit (Haleem = Ariel in the original play) who is serving Hashem, the wizard. Hashem drags them to bring all his enemies to the oasis to have his revenge from them after they