Now I will believe that there are unicorns…

The boys excitedly anticipating the play's onset.

Shakespeare is great when read, but fantastic when seen live. Bard on the Beach is one of the best ways to see these plays the way Shakespeare intended them to be seen. On Thursday September 18th, spirits were high even though clouds began to fill the sky as Ms. Gin’s AP English class ventured to Vanier Park excited to watch The Tempest.

 

The venue for the performance is a large tent situated on the shore of English Bay with the North Shore Mountains as a backdrop. The class was lucky enough be get prime seating, right in the middle of the theater and only three rows from the stage!

 

The combination of the live string quartet and the brilliant performance by the actors transformed words on a page to art on a stage. As boring as people may find Shakespeare to be at school, there is no doubt that when performed it is anything but. Patrons in the audience, which happened to be mostly high school students, were completely enticed and enthralled in the performance.

 

The Tempest begins with a frightening shipwreck due to a tempest, and it just so happened that on the day of the performance, the sky was grey and stormy much like it would have been in the story. The ominous clouds in the backdrop and the blustering wind assaulting the tent made the audience feel as though they were on the ship with the characters.

 

The actors held the audience in the palms of their hands with the energy of the audience rising and falling with the cadence of the play. Even with students, for whom the play was of mandatory attendance, the performance was first intriguing and ended beguiling.

 

The performance was received with a standing ovation from the audience. With Shakespeare and his characters alive in their mind’s eye, the boys returned to Saints excited at the prospect of exploring this classic work further.