Saturday, September 9, 2017

review: the winter's tale

Last weekend Garry and I saw The Winter's Tale by the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble at the Roma Street Parklands, and it was fantastic.

Being first-timers of QSE at the amphitheater in the Parklands, we were delighted by the inside-out set:  the audience sat on the stage, facing the performers on three sides, while the entirety of the traditional seating area was used as backdrop and set.  This included the continuation of the tree motif from the promotional materials, as a giant tree was outlined in lights on the ground.

The rest of the set was sparse, was composed of a single archway and the occasional bale of hay. However, this worked well as it catered easily for change of scene and showcasing the Shakespearean language.

The costuming was also very good, and I especially liked the patchwork skirts worn by two actresses in the second half.

Garry pointed out that there was Irish theming for the production -- which he picked up on more easily than I did because of the Irish music played skilfully by the actors before the show, during intermission and throughout the show.  The music and dancing did really help the show come alive and pop a bit.

The ensemble of actors was very strong -- the individuals were talented, the roles reasonably evenly divided and the general effect amazing.  All performers clearly had a firm grasp of the dialogue, and helped make it easy for the audience to understand everything that was happening.  We even caught some of the jokes!

Having been in Taming of the Shrew earlier this year, we both caught an unintentional joke as well: "happy man be his dole" is a line that Shakespeare evidently recycled!

We also noted that The Winter's Tale is full of great female monologues -- particularly from Paulina, Hermione and Time.

Unfortunately the show has now closed, but otherwise we'd highly recommend you see it!

photos: swell

Friday, December 30, 2016