The Winter’s Tale

National Theatre Live, without Emma Freud!  Well, actually it was the new Kenneth Branagh company, following in the steps of NTL. But they need to work on the intros.

The production was marvellous. Branagh as Leontes and Judi Dench as Paulina were the big names and both lived up to their reputations. But a very strong supporting cast kept the production moving and brught the characters to life (pun intended). Mitanda Raison was excellent as Hermione, a long way from her role as a spy in MI 5.

The audience seems to be building for these classical plays. Not as many people as were at Hamlet, but still,a big improvement since the beginning.




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.
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One Response to The Winter’s Tale

  1. keithhpotter says:

    Well, this play’s a bit of a fardel – the pastoral fourth act, while I am sure deliberately different, is jarring nevertheless, particularly in this version where the actor playing Florizel seemed to be channeling Errol Flynn. Still, I managed to Bear it. (Okay, I’ll stop now, and the bear is in the third act anyway.)
    The theme of the play is, I guess, forgiveness and redemption, although the obvious message is, “beware of kings”, both Leontes and Polixones are totally unreasonable.
    I have always found Leontes sudden transition into insane jealously hard to accept, and I give Branagh a lot of credit for making it credible, if still unreasonable, here.
    Generally, I found the acting, staging, lighting all very good. The weakness was the directing for the camera; that still needs work and, as Cathy mentioned, so does the pre-play section of the showing.

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