After having read The Tempest a few times, it was a treat to finally see it performed. I thought the portrayals of Trinculo and Stephano were quite good. The play portrayed Trinculo and Stephano as being rather close. They are together on the island following a ship wreck, drinking from the same bottle, and enslaving Caliban to the notion that they are gods. The relationship between these two is very much satirized. Their relationship is portrayed within the confines of a normal human marital relationship. Affection is very evident in their relationship. They even have a small conflict that is present in many relationships. Stephano is the dominant person in the relationship, while Trinculo is not necessarily submissive, but he is not the decision maker.
The entire purpose of the tempest, according to Prospero at least, was to find someone for Miranda to marry. Within the context of the time the play was written, a heterosexual relationship would have been the norm. However, Shakespeare puts Stephano and Trinculo’ relationship into a comedic light. I think this is his way of subtly exposing homosexuality to his audience in a manner that would not get him censored. To bring homosexuality up in a humorous light might seem insulting, but Shakespeare does bring it up.