This Island’s Mine by Roustabout Review

This Island’s Mine
Ariel was always here.
Caliban was born here.
And Stephano has just arrived.

Set in the extraordinary world of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Roustabout present a playful and daring exploration of the place we choose to call home.

The piece began straight from the off in a direct and clear way. We are being told a story and we will have to think about what it means and how it makes us feel. There are echoes of Forum Theatre but instead of intervening in the space, my children and I talk all the way home about what home means and where we belong.

This Island’s Mine focuses on a debate between three inhabitants of an island – one of the first peoples (Ariel), a second-generation religious refugee (Caliban) and a Western coloniser (Stephano) – who all believe the island is theirs. 

The show’s themes of colonialism, identity and place are wrapped up in a fantastical tale combined with magic and mayhem. Music and song trickle throughout and we were all left humming afterwards. The show encouraged my 11- and 8-year-olds to discuss their own and their friends’ experiences and identities alongside that of the characters. There was lots of stimulating debate after the show with lots of mixed opinions about who the island should belong to and the actions of the characters during the play. 

The cast of This Island’s Mine is Robin Hemmings (Oi Frog & Friends! (Pins and Needles); One Small Step (Oxford Playhouse); War Game (Bristol Old Vic)) as Caliban, Kesty Morrison (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (RSC); Hamlet (The Globe); The Price (The Young Vic)) as Ariel and Eleanor Pead (Why Would You (The Barbican); Too Late (Market Theatre Hitchin)) as Stephano. 

The Creative Team is Writer and Director Toby Hulse, Associate Director Oliver de Rohan, Designer Maria Terry, Composer Tarek Merchant, Lighting Designer Jeremy Costello, Sound Designer Oliver Wareham, Set Builder Jonathan Attwood and Prop Maker Tish Mantripp. 

This Island’s Mine was developed with support from Arts Council of England and Tobacco Factory Theatres, in partnership with the Cathedral Schools Trust, One Bristol Curriculum and University of Bristol. 

Roustabout is a Bristol-based family theatre company who have produced six highly acclaimed productions since forming in 2018, including the OFFIE nominated digital production of Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish. Writer/director Toby Hulse has worked with Bristol Old Vic, The Old Rep, Pickled Image, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Travelling Light, the egg and the Unicorn Theatre. Toby is an expert when it comes to making work for young audiences, as seen in his productions of The Lost World and War Game (Bristol Old Vic), his adaptation of Around the World in Eighty Days (Bristol Old Vic), and his international touring production of One Small Step (Oxford Playhouse), which starred Roustabout’s Robin Hemmings. Robin Hemmings has also appeared in both The Lost World and War Game (both at Bristol Old Vic), as well as the wonderful Medusa, all by Olivier award-winning Adam Peck and the Olivier nominated Oi Frog & Friends! by Pins and Needles Productions.


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