Sunday, October 23, 2011

Corcadorca, ‘The Winter’s Tale’: Godsend

Cork Opera House
Oct 11-22

I managed to catch Corcadorca’s production of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale but I don’t have time to do an in-depth review. I have to say though that this is not only the first production of a Shakespearean text by an Irish company that I enjoyed and would recommend (not including postdramatic phenom The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane) but it was also one of the most mesmerising and engaging pieces of theatre I’ve seen all year.

Director Pat Kiernan’s tribal-infused interpretation, keening with Mel Mercier’s score and steeled by Paul Keogan’s frosty lights, is both a chilling and hopeful experience. When Garrett Lombard’s jealous king Leontes clashes with Derbhle Crotty’s courtly Paulina we have a stage equivalent of when an unstoppable force meets an unmovable object. Both actors give supreme performances. The second half of the play is less memorable (Shakespeare did give this one a strange structure, starting off with road-signs towards a tragedy and then taking a comedy detour)  but is held together by an amiable cast including Ronan Leahy, Mal Whyte, and the always charming Raymond Keane. I have more thoughts on The Winter’s Tale but I think I’m going to save them for my end of year write-ups in December.

What did everybody else think? 

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