“When Felix is deposed as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by his devious assistant and longtime enemy, his production of The Tempest is canceled and he is heartbroken. Reduced to a life of exile in rural southern Ontario—accompanied only by his fantasy daughter, Miranda, who died twelve years ago—Felix devises a plan for retribution.”
Shakespeare and Atwood? It’s a Canadian-born English teacher’s dream! Atwood’s retelling of The Tempest encapsulates her tell-tale wry intellect and unsentimental characterisation of modern life through the ploys of an audacious but pitiable middle-aged director. Despite setting this appropriation in modern Canada, Atwood maintains a fantastical tone: a tragic past, a melodramatic breakdown and a spectacular plot for revenge. It’s funny, a bit sardonic, very hopeful and offers some fascinating interpretations of Shakespeare’s original text. It’s also about teaching Shakespeare, so it’s no wonder it ended up on the HSC text list.
And so, as our revels are now ended, I give it the heavy end of