A Winter's Tale
Written by William Shakespeare
9th December 2014 - 3rd January 2015
Lion & Unicorn Theatre
Adapted and Directed by: Ross McGregor
Produced by: Simon James Collier
Movement Director: Will Pinchin
Production Manager: Remy Moynes
Musical Director: Sam Morgan-Grahame
Stage Manager: Ben Kerfoot
Puppet-Maker: Alice Sillett
Fight Arranger: Robert Myles
Production Photography: Davor Tovarlaza
Elizabeth Appleby as Hermione
Ben Bradford as Polixenes
Laura Cooper as Emilia & Mopsa
Hannah Ellis as Pauline & Dorcas
Gareth Kearns as Camillo
Ben Kerfoot as Time
Nic McQuillan as Cleomenes & Clown
Robert Myles as Autolycus & Archedamus
Remy Moynes as Mamillius & Perdita
Christopher Neels as Leontes
David Robert Olley as Antigonus & Shepherd
Jack Sharman as Dion & Florizel
A YOUNGER THEATRE
"The Winter’s Tale rides on the tailcoats of the Shakespeare Sessions’ summer success, Much Ado About Nothing, blinkered by and adorned with 5-star reviews from every angle. Though The Winter’s Tale is not as inherently crowd-pleasing as Much Ado, director Ross McGregor has jam-packed it with style and tone.
"It is a whirlwind of measured comedy and tragedy strung together by the company’s strong adherence to their steampunk style and audience engagement therein...
The first half tells of Leontes (Christopher Neels), King of Sicily, becoming enveloped in jealousy and madness to the detriment and death of his kingdom, family and everything in between. Leontes’s swelling madness is indicated by asides to the audience that are highlighted by abrupt lighting changes casting those in the background into a blue shadow as he is spot-lit in his moments of intense doubt... Neels’s performance was volatile, succeeding in building a sincerely uncomfortable atmosphere. Leontes’s wife Hermione (Elizabeth Appleby) is publicly shamed and incarcerated, losing her name, her children and her life in one fell swoop whilst remaining dignified and innocent throughout. Appleby’s portrayal was absolutely the standout performance: she sails seamlessly from unsuspecting mother – good-humoured and doting – to a powerhouse of emotional strength that gave the entire audience noticeable goosebumps....
"As fate takes its toll within the plot and the strings of the story are tied together, the fluidity of the production is restored beautifully, particularly in the final scene in which reunion and love where those goosebumps resurface instantaneously.
[Arrows & Traps] impeccably retells Shakespeare imaginatively, resourcefully and with a newfound will to make it accessible to new generations. I felt completely and utterly entertained: exhausted from being dragged through a range of emotions, along a narrative with more peaks and troughs than a theme park. No mean feat – and they do so with such conviction that their productions are at once enticing, engaging and exciting, even to the old hats."
Rebecca Jones - A Younger Theatre