The Winter's Tale Review from June 2005

  • Date:
    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    Genre: Drama
    Opened 15 June 2005
    Written: By William Shakespeare
    Directed: John Dove
    Cast: Paul Jesson (Leontes), Yolanda Vazquez (Hermione)
    Synopsis: Leontes, King of Sicilia, is convinced that his wife Hermione has committed adultery. So blind is his rage that even a proclamation from the Oracle of Apollo fails to convince Leontes of Hermione's innocence. His implacable jealousy has terrible consequences, leading to the rupture of his lifelong friendship with the King of Bohemia, and the death of his wife and son. Only Leontes' infant daughter Perdita, sent to her death but saved by shepherds in Bohemia, survives to redeem the story.
    Other Info: An original practices production exploring clothing, music, dance and settings possible in the Globe if 1599, with a modern company of men and women players.

    What the critics had to say.....
    PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "enjoyable....It's a straightforward affair. For my taste, the Globe has yet to crack the problem of how to communicate a sense of darkness, danger and mental isolation in the daylight world of this theatre. The lonely, unhinged murderousness of Leontes's jealousy fails to chill the heart, despite Paul Jesson's ranting efforts, and the arraignment of Hermione lacks the requisite unsettling feel of a show trial." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "The whole play seems curiously diminished in Jonathan Dove's efficient but soulless staging.....Too much of the play's darkness at the start, and sense of rapt wonder at the end, has been mislaid on the journey from page to stage." IAN JOHNS for THE TIMES says, "The Bohemian scenes achieve a vitality that is seldom overplayed. And even if the moment when Hermione comes back to life lacks a magical, moving aura, it has an engaging simplicity. By the end, you feel that all the characters deserve their reconciling jig."

    External links to full reviews from popular press
    The Independent
    Daily Telegraph
    The Times

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