…says the clerk at my hostel in Stratford, Ontario, on Friday morning.
Really, I already had a crush on Christopher Plummer, but only on a much younger Plummer of “The Sound of Music” variety. After “The Tempest” at Stratford Shakespeare Festival on Thursday night, I now am more in awe of the man.
The desk clerk told me that many a lady has come to Stratford, just hoping to catch a glimpse of Plummer outside the theater, and she said these sightings do happen, but I didn’t see him.
But I went to see him as Prospero, and he did a marvelous job. A lesser supporting cast could have made the show much less wonderful, but everyone, particularly the roles of Ariel along with Trinculo and Stephano were acted so superbly that there were no dull moments (and I can’t say that at all about “As You Like It,” which I saw on Friday).
I think I could see “The Tempest” once a day for at least the next month. That is how good it was. I know there are things I missed, even with recently reading the play. The special effects were well executed and I would like to see them again, too. And I know I am not the only one who thinks this, too. I have seen a couple musicals with “famous people” the past few years, and not one of them has had a reaction like “The Tempest.” I think the audience could have clapped for Plummer all night long. I don’t think anyone wanted it to be over as we all sat in rapture through his final soliloquy and epilogue:
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands:
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardon’d be,
Let your indulgence set me free .
With that, I shall also end my post, with more to come on Stratford, its swans and some of its shops.