All’s Well That Ends Well

One of the problem plays from my perspective. Why does Helena want to marry this man who so clearly does not want to marry her?
But, this performance triggered a new thought – was Shakespeare actually considering the whole issue of arranged marriage from the woman’s point of view? No one is upset when women are handed over to men that they don’t want to marry, so what would happen if the tables were turned? Given this screen, the play makes a lot more sense to me, especially when you consider the pressure that Elizabeth I was under all her life to marry for political benefits.
Good performances all around. Especially liked Tom Rooney.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
This entry was posted in 2008, Stratford. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to All’s Well That Ends Well

  1. Keith says:

    Cathy’s suggestion about the role reversal makes a lot of sense. I wish I’d thought of that.I don’t find the behaviour of the lead characters so odd. Helena has grown up in Bertram’s household. He is what a lord is to her. When she is given the opportunity to marry a lord, why would she consider anyone else? Bertram isn’t upset at marrying Helena, he’s upset at marrying a Doctor’s Daughter. Yes, he’s immature and a bit of a fool, but it is understandable given his situation, particularly as he is trying to fill his father’s shoes and is very uncertain about his role. This production has a nice moment in the beginning where Helena is crying and Bertram gives her his handkerchief – as individuals they are okay together, it is their relative ranks that are a problem for a marriage.

  2. Keith says:

    I forgot to add that I agree about Rooney’s Lavache, and to say Ouimette’s Lefew was good too.Nice clean direction by Marti Maraden too. Pity she hasn’t stayed around.

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