A Winter's Tale

21/10/2009

Alastair Draper went to see A Winter's Tale at the Lakeside Djanogly Theatre


As is its custom, October has seen off our lucky-dip autumnal climate for another year, leaving us once again to months of lightless mornings and drizzly evenings: the seeding of wintry gloom. So, a fiery, hearty take on Shakespeare’s most popular tragicomedy arrives is just the ticket.

When the King of Sicilia, Leontes (Vince Leigh) plays host to boyhood friend Polixenes (a subtle, vulpine James Buller), a moment of misread behaviour ignites the fires of jealous rage. The resulting sequence of events moves through the charged psycho-drama of marital crisis before swapping such dark preoccupations almost completely for altogether lighter, comedic fare. Suspicion and insecurities, rekindled love and burgeoning romance, disguises and a great big bear all feature; a tricky undertaking for any theatre company.

Thankfully, with terrific performances all around from Simon Godwin’s fluid direction, the Schtanhaus and Nuffield Theatre troupe navigate the play’s testing, undulating tones effortlessly

Miriam Nabarro’s sparse, 40’s inspired re-setting of Sicilia - all flagstones, plush sofas and vintage champagne - gives Leigh’s dynamic Leontes plentiful space. His superb Varsity Sophisticate practically dissolves in full view stage-right as - increasingly spirit-sodden and volatile - jealous paranoia supplants reason.

However, while Amanda Ryan’s Queen Hermione is a study in coy elegance and charm - evidenced particularly when playing next to Buller - the stand-out performance here comes from Golda Rosheuvel. This physically slight actress becomes such a storm of hair-raising ferocity as Paulina that the Djanogly’s stage seems miniscule whenever she appears. Seemingly unsatisfied with being the centre of attention just the once though, she doubles as the Shepherd when the action relocates and poaches most of the laughs too.

A carousing, quasi-South Pacific parodying Bohemia provides the necessary refreshment when Polixenes flees there, before a return to Sicilia for the sensibly-judged final scenes - which manage to avoid the easy slip into the cavity inducing syrup occasionally seen in productions elsewhere

Never-less-than utterly engaging theatre, this punchy - yet intelligent - production rubs warmth into such shivery despondency, making it feel something closer to seasonal cheer.

A Winter's Tale was performed at the Djanogly Theatre by the Schtanhous & Nuffield Theatre Southampton in association with Headlong from Tuesday 20 to Wednesday 21 October 2009.

Share this article



Ads by Google


Comments


comments powered by Disqus

Share Tools

Go to comments Read comments and make your own

LeftLion Magazine

Read our entire archive online

LeftLion Magazine
more info

Event Listings alt

There aren't any tickets available for sale. view all events

Most read this monthalt

  • LeftLion Magazine #65
    With Ferocious Dog, Mhairi McFarlane, Ned Ludd, Nottingham Castle, Pleasfest, Chris Adcock, Percydread, Holly Lucas, 2Magpies Theatre, David Lilley and more
  • Nottingham Through Fresher Eyes
    Nottingham Trent University's photography students snapped up the city when they were mere fresh faces cutting their teeth
  • Cat Café
    There's pussy (cats) galore in the newest joint in town
  • A Canadian at London 2012
    "I want to lose myself in the joyous atmosphere of the world’s middle class getting together to cheer on its fastest and best at throwing heavy objects"
  • Bye Bye, Shaun Derry
    Lasting 503 days at Meadow Lane, surely qualifies a Notts County management team for some kind of commemorative teapot?
  • LeftLion Magazine #66
    With Cantaloupe, Tom Hackett, Record Store Day, Kitty Cafe, Industry Week, Eve Makis, The Old General Mayo and more
  • Exclusive: National Videogame Arcade
    First photos from Nottingham's new centre of videogame excellence with live action Micro Machines, a Minecraft room and a load of bananas
  • Babe Punch
    The five school friends making a glorious racket while still making sure they've got time to revise for their exams
  • Billy Craigan-Toon
    An NTU fine art graduate tells all about his performance pieces and working in Backlit studios with other creative types
  • Ferocious Dog
    "Our sound is unique and you'll recognise us a mile off, but we're not stuck in any genre"

LeftLion on Facebook

 

Ads by Google