“Yes there is a bear in there.” This is the chase: I am gone for ever! [Exit pursued by a bear.]
THE WINTER’S TALE is one of William Shakespeare’s problem plays, a tragic romantic comedy with many a twist in the tale, its multiple moods offer a challenge that requires expert direction, and a cast capable of fine ensemble work.
This huge cast of seventeen actors, brilliantly deliver this wonderful Shakespearean epic of revenge, passion, insane unwarranted jealousy, cruelty and regret.
The stage direction [Exit pursued by a bear] gives every director a severe problem that needs to be solved during the rehearsal process. Secret House director, Sean O’Riordan, has magnificently solved “the bear issue” immediately generating applause from the entire audience on opening night.
This can be called one of Shakespeare’s ‘problem plays’ as it is full of both intense psychological drama yet also is lyrical, rustic and has a romantic happy ending. In some ways it is almost in effect two separate plays, with massive shifts in mood and tone. There is lots of doubling of roles by the excellent cast and fine ensemble work.
It is all seen through the imagination of young Prince Mamillius (Otis Pavlovic or Rory Potter) who controls and manipulates everything. Mamillius acts as lynchpin, questioner and observer throughout. The ’nursery’ /fairytale set as designed by Stephen Curtis was light and airy with bunk bed with ladder, a cradle ,small child size stools, a wonderful mobile…