Sewell Barn Theatre, Constitution Hill, Norwich NR3 4BB               Box office: 01603 626414                   Sewell Barn Trust: Registered Charity No 277724

The Sewell Barn Company

Flare Path Back to casting notes

The Tempest

By William Shakespeare

Director: Clare Williamson

Contact details:

Performance dates:  17 - 19, 23 – 26 October(including a matinee on 26 October) 2019


On a deserted island live Prospero and his daughter, Miranda. He was exiled after his brother stole his dukedom from him. Twelve years later, when this deceitful brother and his entourage sail close by, Prospero uses his magical powers to create a tempest. In the ensuing shipwreck, they are flung on to the island. Antonio (Prospero’s brother), the King of Naples and two other courtiers bicker and plot amongst themselves whilst the king mourns the loss of his son, Ferdinand, who has, in fact, survived. On another part of the island are two more survivors: Trinculo, the court jester, and Stephano, a drunken butler. They encounter Caliban, Prospero’s slave and introduce him to alcohol. He uses them to help him plot the overthrow of Prospero. Meanwhile, Ferdinand meets and falls in love with Miranda who knows nothing of other people, having lived on the island since she was three years old. Prospero and Ariel observe the machinations of Antonio and Caliban and, eventually, Prospero confronts his brother and reveals his identity as the usurped Duke of Milan. The families are reunited and all conflict is resolved. Prospero grants Ariel his freedom and prepares to leave the island.

Neither comedy or tragedy but a mixture of the two, in this dystopian, modern interpretation, the island Prospero inhabits is no tropical paradise but one that has been devastated by nuclear weapons testing. Now nature is beginning to reasserts itself aided by Prospero who harnesses the natural forces of goodness and justice to fight back against greed, destruction and corruption in order to create a “brave new world”.

CASTING:  11 actors playing 9m, 1f, 1 spirit

Please note: Casting for this play will be gender blind throughout

Prospero – the rightful Duke of Milan who was usurped by his brother because he was too busy studying magic to pay any attention to politics. Playing age: needs to look old enough to have fathered a 15 year old daughter so any age above 35.

Miranda – Prospero’s daughter. Has lived on the island since she was three. Playing age: needs to look/act like a  15 year old.

Ariel – a spirit who is bound to serve Prospero after being rescued by him. Will not be played as a stereotypical fairy. Playing age:  20+

Caliban – a dark, earthy slave, frequently referred to a monster by other characters. Son of the witch, Sycorax. Sees himself as the rightful owner of the island  and is full of resentment towards Prospero who uses magic to enslave him. Playing age: 20+

Antonio – Prospero’s brother who usurped the throne of Milan. Arrogant and cynical. Playing age 30+

Alonso – King of Naples. An enemy of Prospero’s, he accepted Antonio’s proposition to help the latter usurp Prospero’s throne in return for Antonio’s swearing Milan’s fealty to Naples. Playing age 40+

Sebastian – brother to Alonso. He helped Antonio usurp Prospero, and is now convinced by the latter to kill his own brother and thus become King. Playing age 30+

Gonzalo - an honest counselor of Alonso’s. Charged with putting Prospero out to sea in a sinking ship, he took pity on the usurped Duke and and saved his life by giving him food and drink plus his magic books. Playing age 50

Ferdinand – Alonso’s son. Cast up on the island on his own. A fine young man. Playing age:18+.

Trinculo - Alonso’s jester. He is a coward with a taste for finery as well as for liquor. Not very bright. Makes a comedic double act with Stephano. Playing age:20+.

Stephano - Alonso’s butler. Keen on drinking and pleased that his life was saved by a butt of wine that he held onto to avoid drowning. Not very bright. Makes a comedic double act with Trinculo. Playing age:20+.


Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays. There will be a few Sundays to accommodate full runs/tech rehearsals etc. Rehearsals will begin week of Tues 27 August. There will be a read through shortly after casting.


Sunday 9 June 7.30pm in the Barn

Please read the script before auditioning. It is easily available in many versions, also from the local library, and can be found online.

Audition pieces will be provided upon arrival on the night of the audition.

If you are unable to make the audition date, please contact me as soon as possible to make another arrangement. Once cast, actors will be provided with a script.