The Winter's Tale

I’ve never read it; I had never seen it before last night.

The Weston High Theater Company is currently performing one of Shakespeare’s less well known plays, The Winter’s Tale. It’s very definitely worth seeing, with several outstanding performances and a fascinating mix of comedy and tragedy. Though officially listed as a comedy, the entire first half is very serious indeed, and even in the second half there is considerable attention to the tragic flaws of the protagonist, King Leontes, convincingly portrayed by Quinton Kappel. Laura Caso’s moving characterization of his queen, Hermione, along with appropriately over-the-top performances by Matt Doyle and Robert Slotnick, are aided by a strong cast of a couple of dozen other students.

“Hermione,” eh? The name can’t help reminding one of Harry Potter. This is no coincidence:

J K Rowling modelled the character of Hermione on herself… Hermione’s name is best known from Shakespeare’s play The Winter’s Tale. That is a complicated story, but she is a Queen, who is wronged by her husband. Through her strength of character, her patience, and fate, all eventually ends well.

In the Weston performance an excellent technical crew provides all the components that are necessary for supporting the actors — such as sets, costumes, music, and especially Peter Freeman’s effective lighting. Tonight will be the last performance of this psychological “comedy,” mostly very dark but also containing a great many lighter moment. Exit, pursued by a bear.

Categories: Books, Weston