OZACT's The Tempest part of burgeoning outdoor theatre culture

Thunderous: The Tempest's Sorcha Breen and Bruce Widdop prepare for rain, hail or shine, with nothing predictable at their outdoor peformances.

Thunderous: The Tempest's Sorcha Breen and Bruce Widdop prepare for rain, hail or shine, with nothing predictable at their outdoor peformances.

A tempest is on the horizon, with OZACT returning to the region this December for two performances of Shakespeare’s last play. 

The Tempest will arrive at Kirks Reservoir Park on December 26 and 27. 

The play sees the survivors of a terrible shipwreck caused by a storm landing on a desolate shore. They are confronted by an embittered enchanter, his beautiful daughter and the other strange inhabitants of the island. 

Directed by Bruce Widdop, who is also in the lead role of Prospero, the production promises a unique experience which calls back to our own colonialist history. 

“The lonely shore and island could be Australia,” Mr Widdop said. “In The Tempest the invaders eventually disappear, having affected the culture of the native people.”

“It particularly suits our story as a country and our costumes are from the late 18th Century. It has those parallels and people will make those connections.

The Tempest also encompasses of all of Shakespeare’s strengths as a playwright, it was his final play so you have the intense drama and tender romance. 

“It has some of his most beautiful soliloquies, because at that time Shakespeare was reflecting on his own life.”

Performing Shakespeare in the elements has taken off, with Melbourne’s current Pop Up Globe extending their run from six weeks to almost five months.

“It’s part of our outdoor barbecue culture,” Mr Widdop said.

“It’s somewhere between straight theatre and film, because the environments are real and the experience is more three-dimensional, which audiences appreciate.

“Enclosed theatre environments can feel artificial. Outdoors, whatever happens is part of the play, whether it’s a plane flying over or rain.

“Our style of acting is a lot more physical and exciting.”

OZACT launched in 1995, and it is the 10th year the company will perform in Kirks Reservoir Park.

Patrons should bring a cushion or a blanket and ensure they are dressed for the weather conditions. 

Tickets for adults $35, concession $30 and children $20. Performance begins at 6.30pm, bookings can be made at www.ozact.com.