The Tempest (Modified Shakespeare) by Lynn Brittney

Running time approximately 35 minutes.

You will find that these modified versions of the text make the plotline clearer for those students new to the works of William Shakespeare and in no way diminish Shakespeare’s intentions. These plays are intended for production. Classroom study of Shakespeare plays will require the full text. This version of the play cuts out difficult scenes to stage, like the ‘banquet’ scene, which makes no difference to the plot. It works very well as a stand-alone performance piece.

15 SPEAKING PARTS. Unlimited non-speaking.

As with all our plays, there are full production notes that give advice on scenery, costumes and props.


Here’s a sample

A tropical island. There is a storm raging and PROSPERO, the wizard, is standing in the centre of the stage, and making passes with his hands, as though to conduct the storm. His daughter MIRANDA comes running in.

If, by your magic, my dearest father, you have
Put the wild waters in this roar, make them stop!
The sky is so dark that it seems as though it would
Pour down fire and brimstone but that the sea,
Mounting so high, would dash the fire out.
O I have suffered with those that I saw suffer!
A brave vessel, which had, no doubt, some noble creatures in her
Dashed all to pieces on the rocks. Poor souls, they perished!
Had I been any god of power, I would
Have sunk the sea within the earth, to save the
Poor souls on that good ship.

Be calm, Miranda. No more tears and sorrow.
There is no harm done.
I have done it all because I care for you.
You, my daughter, are ignorant of who you are.
Neither do you know that I am more than Prospero,
Master of this wretched island and simply your father.

I never thought to ask you more.

It is time that I should tell you. Come,
Help me take off my magic garment.

(MIRANDA helps PROSPERO remove his wizard’s cloak. He folds it up and lays it down on the ground.)

Lie there, my magic art.
Wipe your eyes and have comfort.
The terrible spectacle of the shipwreck, which touched
Your heart and stirred your compassion,
I have safely conjured with my magic,
So that there is no soul, not even a hair on their head,
Which is harmed.
Why I did this, I must now tell you.

You have often begun to tell me what I am
But stopped and left me to wonder why,
Saying “Stay, not yet.”

The hour has now come.
Listen to me now.
Can you remember a time before we came to this prison?
I do not think you can, for you were but three years old.

Certainly, sir, I can.

What? A house, a person?
Tell me of anything that you can remember.

‘Tis far off. And rather like a dream than a memory.
Had I not four or five women that once looked after me?

You did, and more, Miranda.
But how is it that this lives in your mind?
Perhaps you remember how you came here to this place?

That I do not.

Twelve years ago, Miranda, twelve years ago,
Your father was the Duke of Milan and
A prince of power.

Sir, are you not my father?

Yes. Your mother was a virtuous woman
And you, my daughter, a princess, no less.

O, the heavens!
What foul play happened that brought us here then?
Or was it a blessing?

It was both, my girl.
By foul play, as you say, we were sent away
But blessedly helped to this island.

Please, tell me more.