Just like that! Paul works his magic at rehearsals

Paul Daniels promoting The Tempest at The Italian Gardens in Eastbourne
Paul Daniels promoting The Tempest at The Italian Gardens in Eastbourne

It was magic in the rehearsal room for ‘The Tempest’ this week as EODS enter final rehearsals for their open-air Shakespearian production in the stunning Italian Gardens, Holywell, Eastbourne.

Paul Daniels, the renowned professional magician, has devised the magic and supernatural effects for the play and received a big welcome from the cast at EODS Centre.

Paul Daniels - magic tricks for The Tempest at Italian Gardens in Eastbourne

Paul Daniels - magic tricks for The Tempest at Italian Gardens in Eastbourne

King Alfonso, of Naples, and his entourage sail home from Italy after attending his daughter’s wedding in Africa and encounter a violent storm, or Tempest.

Everyone jumps overboard and are washed up on a strange island inhabited by the magician Prospero who deliberately conjured up the storm.

Prospero is in fact the rightful Duke of Milan who had been put to sea to die with his daughter Miranda by his brother, Antonio, who was in league with King Alfonso.

Prospero and Miranda live in a cave on the island which is also inhabited by Ariel, a sprite who carries our Prospero’s bidding, and the deformed slave Caliban.

Caliban resents Prospero as he believes he is the rightful ruler of the island, and plots to murder Prospero; Miranda and Ferdinand full in love; Ariel rebukes King Alfonso for his plotting and further plots develop but thanks to magic, fail.

The play ends with all the offenders repenting and so we have a happy ending with freedom, friendship, forgiveness and enlightenment all round.

This open-air presentation runs from Wednesday, July 24, until Saturday, August 3 (not Sunday), nightly at 7.45pm . Booking now at Eastbourne Theatres Box Office - 01323 412000. Reserved seats, undercover, are £16 and £13 or £8 restricted view. Concessions are available for the over 60s, people with disabilities and students of £2 off (restricted view not included).

Refreshments, including the now famous homemade cakes, are available and there is also a picnic area provided.