Oz Act Shakespeare company captivated audiences with their performance of The Tempest at Loch Ard Gorge.
Back-dropped by the gorge's windswept caves with twinkling stalagmites and vast cliff edges, the cast had audiences laughing one minute and captivated the next by their commitment to character and impressive ability to recite complex soliloquy's.
The weather worked in their favour, with the Saturday night performance taking place under calm skies.
Thought to be the Bard's last play, The Tempest is autotelic, remaining the same from one moment to the next, fixed in history but also free of historical limitation.
Using this to their advantage, Oz Act chose to depict their characters in period costume, similar to the time that the infamous Loch Ard was shipwrecked in 1878, leaving only two survivors - Eva Carmichael and Tom Pearce - much like young lovers Ferdinand and Miranda.
Artistic director Bruce Widdop kept the direction of the play light and there were no obvious attempts to unpack the colonial undertones of the play.
While disappointing that more modern interpretative opportunities weren't fully seized, the actors were energetic, convincing and professional in their craft.
Ryan Ireland was the highlight of the performance and mesmerised audiences as the enigmatic, magical character of Ariel.
Light on his feet, Ireland cast a spell over the crowd as the spirit of air, foiling other characters' scheming and stirring confusion among the ship's crew.
The play was executed with the perfect mix of drama, knock-around comedy and tender romance.
Michael Davidson and Luke Ingram had the crowd in stitches with their quit-witted banter and drunken antics as Stefano and Trinculo.
The setting of the play along the iconic Shipwreck Coast transformed and elevated the performance, making for a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Delighting audiences young and old, Oz Act's Shakespeare in the Great Outdoors performances are not to be missed.
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