So. The Winter’s Tale.
As I say good-bye to this play, I’m grappling with a number of issues. Especially from a dramaturgical point of view…
How do you realistically (I know, I know… dangerous presumption) present Leontes’ 0-60 jealousy rave-up?
Autolycus and the seemingly interminable sheep-shearing fest and its fallout?
That last scene?
I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are some great things here. Paulina. The bear (on the page, at least). The ambiguity of that reveal at the end (again, on the page, at least).
Are you noticing a trend here?
I enjoyed the play as a reading experience (kind of), but the damned thing wasn’t written to be read…it was written to be wrought. It’s supposed to be on stage. And honestly, I’ve never seen a satisfying production…compare this to Pericles, which seemed at least somewhat weak (or just plain weird) on the page, but I’ve never seen fail on the stage. And so this goes behind Pericles…way behind Pericles. Bottom (thus far) of the Romances (so sue me, I find–maybe in retrospect–Cymbeline almost charming in comparison to this one). And in the bottom third of all the Canon.
I think I’m probably dinging it in ways it probably doesn’t deserve.
But still…it just doesn’t float my boat.
Regardless, it’s time to say goodbye to both Sicilia and Bohemia. Get on a boat that does float, and head off to some deserted island.
Be careful of storms ahead…