Lizzy McBain creative director of Hidden Spire talks about why the project excites her and its upcoming production

Hidden Spire is a collaboration between Arts at the Old Fire Station and Crisis, a project that brings together professional artists and people who are homeless to create a show from scratch. 2015 sees our third production, and I’m thrilled to be creative director once again.

Not least because we are creating a prequel to Shakespeare’s Tempest, which is one of my favourite of his plays. We are going to tell the story of what happened before the storm that kicks off the bard’s last play, and particularly that of Miranda who has grown up on an island in the middle of the ocean, since finding herself there at the age of three.

We have been running writing sessions, devising workshops and design groups for almost a year now, working with Crisis clients to develop a piece together. As I write, two visual artists are working at the Old Fire Station along with members to build a wonderful wooden tree, complete with shelves of books built into its branches. This is where the shipwrecked Prospero obsessively studies his magic in a bid to get revenge on his brother; the brother who usurped his position as Duke on the mainland all of 12 years ago.

Our production will also feature a chorus of exotic and humorous birds, who have made the island their home, as they observe and comment on the bizarre behaviour of the humans that surround them.

Hidden Spire is one of the most exciting projects I have worked on. With its very many facets it is challenging – working with artists and Crisis members on every aspect – from performing, to writing, building and technical work backstage. However it is the excitement of rehearsals as we all come together and create a company in September, that I am really looking forward to. When titles and individual backgrounds disappear and we all embark on a mission to create a performance together.

If you are after something a little bit different – something that will challenge and surprise you – I urge you to come and see Before the Tempest.

Before The Tempest will be performed from September 17 to 19 at OFS. More information on the blog:

Tickets at or 01865 305305.