“Let Your Indulgence Set Me Free”

I have a beautiful new header, courtesty of   – custom-made to unite the twin poles of my inner life (wow, that sounds pretentious!) On the left we have the wonderful Anthony Sher as Prospero renouncing his magic and on the right we have David Tennant in his very last moment as the Tenth Doctor. In between, the last few lines of The Tempest.

I’ve written about the Baxter Theatre production of The Tempest previously in this journal – it would be difficult to think of a moment in the theatre that has affected me more deeply than the one illustrated here, where Prospero, suddenly feeling every year of his age, renounces his power to be a petty god motivated by revenge on his own little island. The internal struggle he was going through was etched on Antony Sher’s face. The words of the header are widely (but inaccurately) believed to be Shakespeare’s own farewell to the power of writing and the theatre.

David Tennant, in his own way, said more or less the same as Prospero when he spoke the words, "I don’t want to go," and metamorphosed, like it or not, into someone different. So – three dramatic farewells, and two massive influences that have defined my life. Officially I study Shakespeare, but I also study Doctor Who, and I’d like to formalize that one day. Thank you to   for bringing it all together in this beautiful image.

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2 thoughts on ““Let Your Indulgence Set Me Free”

  1. Oh, this is beautiful.
    Your description got me thinking, and actually, the most beautiful, aching, life changing piece of theatre *I* ever saw was also a production of the Tempest. It was staged by the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia. Ariel was played by two people: he was given physical presence by a young boy (maybe high school aged) and vocal presence by an African-American woman. She had this beautiful, rich, resonant voice–and she sat on a platform suspended maybe 20 or 25 feet above the stage. She was surrounded by musical instruments of various sorts (windchimes, etc.) that she used throughout the production. At the end, when Prospero frees Ariel, the final image was of the boy, suspended in air, reaching out to touch the extended hand of the woman. Just beautiful. I was in college and had no money at all, but I scrimped all my pennies to see it twice.
    I’ve seen a number of rather dreadful productions of The Tempest–but when it’s good, few things are better!
    *realizes I’m rambling* oops. All this to say, I love your new header. 🙂

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