The Winter's Tale - A Review by Suzanne Birrell

A review by Suzanne Birrell

Cameron Rose, Emily Rose McLeod, Hayley Brown, Roman Guastaferro, Saundra Montijo

I was lucky enough to catch The Winter's Tale by Shakespeare and presented by the Mine is Yours Theatre Company in their last weekend.  I have it on good authority that if you've never seen Shakespeare performed, or even if you have never seen live theatre at all, this was a good place to start. I know this because I was fortunate to sit next to two high school students who were taking in the show as "extra credit." The young man had never been to live theatre before. He was quite taken in, frequently laughed out loud, admitted at the end that he almost got teary eyed and was definitely a convert to live theatre.

Max Lawrence as Leontes

The Winter's Tale is considered one of Shakespeare's more problematic plays in that it is presented as heavy drama until towards the end of the first act, when comedy comes into play. As with all Shakespeare, the author's intent is always to entertain the masses. With solid direction by William Dennis Hunt, The Mine is Yours Theatre Company definitely does that. The cast was brilliant all around but with females playing some of traditional male characters, the story was given an expanded richness.

Max Lawrence played a powerful Leontes, the King of Sicily whose jealousy destroys the life of his family. He was convincingly labile and held the audience in the palm of his hands with some of Shakespeare's more powerful but relatively unknown monologues.

Emily Rose McLeod,  Carolyn Marie Wright, Saundra Montijo

 Carolyn Marie Wright as the beloved Queen Hermione was very convincingly pregnant, magnificently regal as the statue, and played all the subtleties in between with fine sensitively. Dimitri Aleman Jones was a delight as the son Maxillius and his cameo appearance at the end was the perfect ending. Olivia Buntaine was hysterical as the roguish peddler/pickpocket Autolycus where the female/male interplay most definitely enhanced the comedy.  Allen Barstow smoothly played the Bohemian King Polixenes while his most honest advisor Camillo was adroitly played in this production by an actress,Taylor Jackson Ross, and the scenes were all the more richer for it. 

Olivia Buntaine & Cameron Rose

Frank Weider played the part of Antigone's who with great sorrow abandoned the baby and "exits, pursued by a bear." (Shakespeare's most famous stage direction) He then shortly thereafter returned as the old Shepherd and is wonderfully teamed with Cameron Rose who plays his son. Comic duos are an iconic part of any Shakespeare play and these two brought it on. Weider and Rose each playing triple parts had some amazing costume changing going on facilitating transitions between comic and dignified roles.

The endearing romantic duo featured Hayley Brown as sweet Perdita and Roman Guastaferro as the infatuated Florizel. Paulina was played with great sincerity and impeccable timing by Hannah Pell whose impeccable sense for silence really brought life to the last scene. Rounding out a great cast were Emily Rose McLeod and Saundra Montijo.

The set was black box, the costumes simple, and the acting divine. It was an evening of really fine Shakespeare.

Mine is Yours Theatre Company. web page states:

We want to explore the transformative power of theatre, revel in the bare magical moments that only happen on stage, and illuminate the vital and irreplaceable ways in which theatre speaks to life in the 21st century.

They definitely succeeded with The Winter's Tale. Keep on the lookout for more fine productions from Mine is Yours Theatre Company.

Posted By Suzanne on December 14, 2015 01:43 pm | Permalink