Globe’s first tale over TWO venues
THE Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s ‘problem plays’, with its psychological drama and broad comedy. But the tonal shift, plus the jump of time and location from Sicilia’s formal court to pastoral Bohemia, makes it perfect for the Globe’s first dual-venue staging.
Sean Holmes’s production begins in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, at the court of King Leontes (Sergo Vares) in Sicilia, before transferring to the open-air Globe to visit Bohemia and returning inside for the final act. It is a brilliant conceit. Leontes wrongly accuses pregnant wife Hermione (Bea Segura) of infidelity with King Polixenes (John Lightbody). She dies after he abandons their child, Perdita, who is raised by shepherds. When the grown-up Perdita falls in love with Polixenes’ son Florizel, all is revealed. Holmes’s warm-hearted production does justice to Shakespeare’s exploration of how love can bring destruction and redemption, while giving full rein to the comedy.