Once upon a time, there was a director I adored, named Julie Taymor. She made a gloriously over-ripe adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s lesser plays; she turned a standard biopic screenplay about Frida Kahlo into a flashy visualisation of how an artist perceives the world; she thought up an insane jukebox musical using the Beatles as a metaphor for coming-of-age in the ’60s that swings between the stupidly obvious and the visionary with abandon; and I loved every single one of them.
Then she made The Tempest.
For the full story, head over to On Chicago Theatre, where Zev Valancy and I take turns being more and more aghast at Taymor’s complete rejection of directorial responsibility, sacrificing “vision” for a clusterfuck of ill-judged stunt casting, a bit of racist representation straight out of a 1930s jungle adventure, prosthetic manboobs, and Helen Mirren sleepwalking through a once-in-a-lifetime role. Is it ever much more than snide bitchery? Well… no, and why would you want it to be? Read it! It’s fun!