These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air,
And like the baseless fabric of this vision
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which shall inherit shall dissolve...
Prospero, Duke of Milan, his dukedom usurped by his brother Antonio, is put to sea with his little daughter Miranda and some magical books smuggled in by his loyal councillor Gonzalo. The sea casts them up on an island where Prospero, exercising his magical powers, makes a home for himself and Miranda. One day, a great storm, which Prospero has conjured, breaks up a passing ship and delivers him to the members of his usurping court. Treacherous brother, fellow conspirators and old friend alike come under Prospero's spell.
No play tells us more about Shakespeare's views on the cathartic role of theatre in society, on theatre as a healer of wrongs. Vanessa Redgrave and Lenka Udovicki bring their experiences of refugees in the 20th century to bear on this story of exile, revenge and eventual forgiveness.