A Winter’s Tale at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre (Kentish Town) follows paranoid and jealous King Leontes as he accuses his wife of adultery and the repercussions this causes. The production has been given a steam punk make-over which, although it was a struggle to make a link with, was very asthetically pleasing. The production has been directed and adapted by Ross McGregor and runs at a concise two hours including the interval.
The entire cast were all strong and committed performers. They all used the text well and told the story clearly. There were some interesting and diverse movement sequences which enhance the story telling and bring extra life to Shakespeare’s text. Christopher Neels gives an emotionally charged performance in the leading role, carrying the weight of the character with great skill. Robert Myles’s Archidamus has buckets of charm and is shamelessly brilliant, it is hard to take your eyes off him for the majority of the second act.
There were some technical hitches in the showing I watched as Nick McQuillan, who played Clown and Cleomenes, had laryngitis and could not speak. It was very shakily announced to us at the beginning of the show that the musical director, Samuel Morgan-Grahame, would read in McQuillan’s lines whilst McQuillan physically delivered the role. This worked surprising well and was done with good humour. It showed the cast off as a tight and incredibly professional ensemble. Furthermore the musical choices by Morgan-Grahame all worked well and enhanced the production, especially the haunting acappella song which closed the first half.
This is a great production for those new to Shakespeare, or seasoned fans looking for something a bit different from a classical setting. The small venue makes for an intimate and emotive production, delivered with a sense of fun from this talented cast. 4/5
Review written by Lucy Bishop.
A Winter’s Tale is currently showing at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre until Saturday 3rd January. For more information on the production, visit here…