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Shakespeare in a shed: It's the bard with Belfast twist

By Laura Abernethy

Published 20/04/2016

Debra Hill and Parys Jordon at the rehearsals of The Tempest
Debra Hill and Parys Jordon at the rehearsals of The Tempest
Debra Hill and Parys Jordon at the rehearsals of The Tempest
Debra Hill at the rehearsal of the Tempest
James Doran on stage

With hundreds of performers, 30 tonnes of sand and a lead actress plucked from social media, this is William Shakespeare with a difference.

The Belfast Tempest is a reimagining of Shakespeare's final play blended with the city's history.

The play, which opens tonight and runs until Saturday, will be Belfast's biggest ever Shakespeare production in the week of the 400th anniversary of his death.

Set in the huge T13 warehouse in the Titanic Quarter, more than 600 people have come together to create the production and the set featuring a Giant's Causeway built of books and shipwrecked seating.

The audience have been asked to bring a cushion to sit on and a coat to keep warm so they can immerse themselves in the production.

Emerging actress Debra Hill, who plays Miranda, was found through the #iammiranda social media campaign.

The 22-year-old student from west Belfast explained: "It's been so interesting to be involved with this. It's such a huge production and it's been quite overwhelming, but in a really good way.

"I think there will be a lot of expectation but it's a great cast and an amazing set, and I think it will be brilliant."

Artistic director and writer Andrea Montgomery said: "It's been a long journey and I feel really proud of all the people involved."

The play will feature more than 250 volunteer performers from different communities to create an intercultural production.

Tickets are priced £15, £10 and £5.

For booking and further information visit crescentarts.org or visitbelfast.com.

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