by Hannah Bisewski
In the midst of the whirlwind of Shakespeare that is the current Austin theatre scene, audiences of this week's performance of The Tempest, put on by the intrepid Actors from the London Stage, were in for an exceptional and wildly successful rendition at the B. Iden Payne Theatre on UT's campus. For the past two years, a small troupe of AFLS actors has taken up a short fall residency at UT Austin, each time performing a different Shakespeare play in their own minimalist fashion. This 35-year-old program, housed at Notre Dame University, brings small groups of actors classically trained in Britain for performances and master classes at U.S. universities.
Because there are only five actors cast in each play, each must assume several roles throughout. When they initially present themselves to the theatre, listing out each character they’ll portray, one may be dismayed or at the very least concerned that the next two hours will be difficult. These actors immediately overcome those misgivings, for they breathe dramatic energy into each character with such precision that not once do spectators find themselves confused.