Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Film

The Tempest (1979, John Gorrie)

TitleThe Tempest
Release LocationsGB
DirectorJohn Gorrie
MediumColor video
Length2 hrs, 5 mins
Audiencecollege and university
general public
Play ConnectionsThe Tempest (teleplay)
SeriesThe Shakespeare Plays


Director John Gorrie took the Doré illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy as a model for the island settings of his production. The result is a bleak, stark rather arid kind of island, which is curiously lacking in the sounds of the sea. One yearns for the gull cries that make the seacoast scenes in the BBC Pericles come aurally alive. The brevity of The Tempest, one of Shakespeare's shortest plays, made the need for textual changes minimal. There was some discussion about giving Prospero's speech to Caliban at 1.2.351 to Miranda, which is so harsh in tone as to seem out of character for Miranda. It was decided, however, to stick with the Peter Alexander text, which is essentially the 1623 Folio version. In Derek Jarman's 1980 film treatment of The Tempest (see 622), Toyah Willcox plays a Miranda who might well have been capable of speaking these often disputed lines (KSR)

Description from Shakespeare on Screen : an International Filmography and Videography by Kenneth S. Rothwell and Annabelle Henkin Melzer. ©1990 Kenneth S. Rothwell. Cited by permission. — Added 2008-11-14

Cast Overview

AdrianChristopher Bramwell
MasterEdwin Brown
CalibanWarren Clarke
ArielDavid Dixon
CeresElizabeth Gardner
BoatswainKenneth Gilbert
AntonioDerek Godfrey
FranciscoPaul Greenhalgh
MirandaPippa Guard
FerdinandChristopher Guard
StephanoNigel Hawthorne
ProsperoMichael Hordern
JunoGwyneth Lloyd
GonzaloJohn Nettleton
IrisJudith Rees
SebastianAlan Rowe
TrinculoAndrew Sachs
AlonsoDavid Waller

Production Team and Crew Overview

DirectorJohn Gorrie
ProducerCedric Messina
Literary ConsultantJohn Wilders
ComposerJoseph Horovitz
ComposerDavid Lloyd-Jones
ChoreographyGeoffrey Cauley
Adaptor/TranslatorAlan Shallcross
MakeupChristine Beveridge
CostumesAlun Hughes
LightingClive Thomas
SoundChick Anthony
ProductionPaul Joel
Production AssistantBrian Morgan

Production information courtesy of: Kenneth Rothwell