Starring Helen Mirren as Prospera? Ok, TheShakespearePost scooped me on this one.  Julie Taymor, who I’d noticed did her own Tempest a little while back, is looking to do it again.  This time with a twist – Helen Mirren to play Prospera, Miranda’s mom. “It goes back to the 16th or 17th century, and women practicing magical arts of alchemy, who were often convicted of witchcraft. In my version, Prospera is usurped by her brother and sent off with her-four-year daughter on a ship. She ends up on an island; it’s a tabula rasa: no society, so the mother figure becomes a father figure to Miranda. You have the power struggle and balance between Caliban and Prospero; it’s not about brawn, but about intellect.”

5 thoughts on “Starring Helen Mirren as Prospera?

  1. Well, okay, why not? In Shakespeare’s day, every single female role was cross-cast. I’ve always been open to having women play the male roles.

  2. Not that I’m against the cross casting either, but it is a different thing Craig. Here, they’re saying “Even though Shakespeare wrote this role to be a man, I will make it a woman.” That’s not the same thing as saying “There’ll be a man acting a woman’s role”, or vice versa. She’s not playing a male role, they’re changing it to a female role.

  3. So I guess we come down to, how much monkeying with the script will there be? If they’re just changing “father” to “mother” and “he” to “she,” I’m pretty sanguine about that. If they’re planning to re-write whole swaths of the play to make it some kind of modern manifesto…that’s less appealing.

  4. Half empty – or Half full? You two are starting to sound like a pair of old men in the pub complaining the beer’s too cold and the music too loud!

    Doesn’t the idea of Helen Mirren getting her teeth into Prospero excite you? It certainly does me.

    And (as Hamlet’s mousetrap shows) messing around with the text was not only accept Elizabethan practise, but quite a norm – the folio is not a religious text.

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