27 July – 26 August
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Alex Clifton
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on”
This summer Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre will be transformed into an enchanted island, as we stage Shakespeare’s final and most magical play. Prospero, Duke of Milan, usurped and exiled by his own brother, is banished to a mystical island, accompanied by his daughter Miranda and served by his spirit Ariel and deformed slave Caliban. Prospero raises a storm to shipwreck the men who wronged him to finally take his long-awaited revenge.
Running time is approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes, including a 15 minute interval.
Prospero, a sorcerer and the rightful Duke of Milan, dwells on an enchanted isle with his daughter, Miranda. Twelve years earlier, the duke’s brother, Antonio, and Alonso, the King of Naples, conspired to usurp his throne. They set Prospero and Miranda adrift in a boat, and they eventually found themselves marooned on the island. Prospero is served on his island by Ariel, a spirit who he freed from a tree with magic, and Caliban, son of the witch Sycorax. When magic reveals that a ship bearing his old enemies is sailing near the island, Prospero summons a storm to wreck their ship. The survivors make it to shore in scattered groups. Among these is Ferdinand, the son of Alonso. He is lulled to Prospero’s abode by the singing of Ariel; there he meets Miranda, who is enthralled with the young prince.
Meanwhile, Antonio, Alonso, Sebastian, and Gonzalo wander the island in search of Ferdinand. Antonio now plots with Sebastian to murder Alonso, but this plot is thwarted by Ariel. Elsewhere on the island, Stephano and Trinculo encounter Caliban. After sharing a few drinks, Caliban tries to enlist the two in a plot to kill Prospero and rule the island himself. He even promises Miranda to Stephano. Ariel, however, reports all these goings-on to Prospero. In the meantime, Miranda and Ferdinand pledge their troth to each other.
Prospero isn’t finished with his sport of Antonio and Alonso, either. He creates a magical banquet for the two men that vanishes whenever they try to eat. He also sends Ariel in the guise of a harpy to hound them for their crimes against Prospero. Later, at a masque to celebrate the upcoming marriage of Miranda and Ferdinand, Prospero remembers Caliban’s plot and abruptly calls the revels to a halt. He sends Ariel to punish them as well; the spirit does so by first luring them with some fancy clothes, then setting other island spirits upon them in the shape of hunting dogs that chase them around the island.
Finally, Prospero confronts his brother and Alonso, revealing his true identity as the rightful Duke of Milan. He demands that Antonio restore his throne; he also rebukes Sebastian for plotting against his own brother. To Alonso, he reveals Ferdinand alive and well, playing chess with Miranda. As a final act, Prospero abandons his magic and releases Ariel and Caliban from their servitude. From Ariel, Prospero asks for one last boon: calm seas and favorable winds for their trip back to Naples.
Friday 27 July 7.30pm
Saturday 28 July 2.15pm
Saturday 28 July 7.30pm
Wednesday 1 August 7.30pm
Friday 3 August 7.30pm
Sunday 5 August 4.30pm
Tuesday 7 August 7.30pm (over 60s)
Thursday 9 August 7.30pm
Saturday 11 August 7.30pm
Wednesday 15 August 7.30pm (over 60s)
Friday 17 August 7.30pm
Saturday 18 August 7.30pm
Sunday 19 August 4.30pm
Tuesday 21 August 7.30pm
Thursday 23 August 7.30pm
Saturday 25 August 2.15pm
Sunday 26 August 4.30pm
Ways to Book
The easiest, and cheapest, way to book. Pick your own seats. Safe, secure booking system, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Head here to book.
01244 409 113 (option #1) £2.50 phone transaction fee applies
Mon – Fri: 9am – 8pm | Sat: 9am – 7.30pm | Sun: 9am – 7pm
in person – at Storyhouse
Tickets can be booked using the kiosks in the Storyhouse building (Hunter Street, Chester).
£22.50 – £45 – book early for the best prices!
Under 12’s go FREE (each child must be accompanied by a full paying adult)
£7 off for under 26s
£7 off for over 60s (selected shows, see schedule above)
Groups of 10+ save £3 (applies to full priced tickets only)
Groups of 25+ save £5 (applies to full priced tickets only)
About Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre
Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre is one of the country’s best-loved open air theatres and regularly plays to sold out audiences across the summer. The sounds of popping corks, picnics unpacked and happy audiences is the defining sound of Chester’s summer.
Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre is produced by Storyhouse, Chester’s award-winning cultural centre which opened in May 2017.