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The Tempest (Donnellan, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)

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The Tempest

This production of The Tempest by Cheek by Jowl, a co-production with the Chekhov International Festival was first staged at Les Gemeaux, Sceaux, Paris, in January 2011, and played across North and South America, Europe and Asia. This was the second Shakespeare production in Russian that the company toured internationally (following Twelfth Night). The company had previously produced this play in English in 1988, but this production drew heavily on Soviet imagery to evoke provincial land ownership, the exploitation of workers and the evils of capitalism (Caliban tempted with a credit card by Stephano and Trinculo). With a chorus of Ariels carrying out their master’s wishes, a near-feral Miranda unaware of social niceties, and a metatheatrical interlude in which Prospero/Igor Yasulovich stopped the show and ordered the house lights brought up, the production repeatedly offered provocations against established modes of presenting the play.

Directed by Declan Donnellan

The cast includes Igor Yasulovich, Anna Khalilulina, Andrey Kuzichev, Alexander Feklistov, Mikhail Zhigalov, Pavel Kuzmin, Evgeny Samarin, Yan Ilves, Alexander Lenkov, Ilya Iliin, Sergey Koleshnya, Gela Meskhi, Maxim Onishchenko, Vadim Norshteyn, Sergey Zaytsev

Production website:

Online reviews:

Kate Bassett, ‘Blithe Spirit, Apollo Shaftesbury, London / The Tempest, Playhouse, Oxford / Mogadishu, Lyric Hammersmith, London’
The Independent on Sunday, March 5, 2011

Michael Billington, ‘The Tempest – review’
The Guardian, April 10, 2011

Susannah Clapp, ‘Blithe Spirit; The Tempest – review’
The Observer, March 13, 2011

Charles Spencer, ‘The Tempest, Barbican, review’
The Telegraph, April 11, 2011

Michael Coveney, ‘The Tempest, Silk Street Theatre, Barbican, London’
The Independent, April 12, 2011

Julia Rank, ‘The Tempest’
Exeunt Magazine, April 11, 2011

Armelle Heliot, ‘La Tempête russe de Declan Donnellan’
Le Figaro, January 30, 2011

Peter Kirwan, ‘The Tempest (Cheek by Jowl/Chekhov International Drama Festival) @ Warwick Arts Centre’
The Bardathon, March 3, 2011

Sam Marlowe, ‘The Tempest at Oxford Playhouse’
The Times, March 10, 2011


Dominic Maxwell, ‘Cheek by Jowl’s New Take on The Tempest’
The Times, February 23, 2011


Kathleen E. McLuskie, ‘“Abstraction and Allegory”: Making The Tempest Mean’ in Revisiting The Tempest: The Capacity to Signify, eds Silvia Bigliazzi and Lisanna Calvi (Basgingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 239-56.


Peter Kirwan prepared the metadata for this production. He is Assistant Professor in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama at the University of Nottingham. His research interests include contemporary performance of early modern drama, theatre and book history, authorship and disputed Shakespeare plays, and Shakespearean adaptation. His books include Shakespeare and the Idea of Apocrypha (Cambridge, 2015) and Shakespeare and the Digital World (Cambridge, 2014). His current project is a book-length study of Cheek by Jowl for the Arden Shakespeare, and he is also editing Doctor Faustus for Routledge.


The Tempest



Moscow’s Chekhov International Festival returns with a forceful new production of The Tempest. Cheek by Jowl’s Russian sister company brings to life this disturbing masque of power, control and illusion....more

Moscow’s Chekhov International Festival returns with a forceful new production of The Tempest. Cheek by Jowl’s Russian sister company brings to life this disturbing masque of power, control and illusion. Shakespeare juggles magic, laughter, danger and love with all the flair and freedom of his maturity.


The Tempest : Full Video

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