The Winter's Tale (2009): Royal Shakespeare Company, The Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
PrThe Winter's Tale (2009)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Brian Doherty (Autolycus); Darrell D'Silva (Polixenes); Noma Dumezweni (Paulina); Greg Hicks (Leontes); Kelly Hunter (Hermione); Tunji Kasim (Florizel); Samantha Young (Perdita).
The first performance of this production took place on 31 March 2009.
"We are in a cultivated, frock-coated world where all seems high pleasure until the eruption of Leontes' jealousy....Noma Dumezweni's Paulina is also a fiesty piece of work who gives Leontes a suitable ear-bashing. Sure-footed in Sicilia, the production goes a bit berserk in Bohemia. Antigonus, instead of exiting pursued by a bear, sacrifices himself to a monster-puppet. And there is something a bit strenuous about the rustic revlery. The floor, in Jon Bausor's design, is smothered with the leaves of upturned books." ~ Michael Billington, The Guardian, 10 April 2009, in Theatre Record 2009, Issue 8
"Noma Dumezweni's Paulina is a brave battleaxe who terrifies young soldiers....The young lovers could be better - she not quite so soft, he a little wet. There is a hodge-podge of accents, too: Scottish, West Indian, Irish, West Country, Welsh and even vaguely American." ~ Quentin Letts, Daily Mail, 10 April 2009, in Theatre Record 2009, Issue 8
"The famous bear proves a tremendous success, Larrington Walker and Gruffudd Glyn are delightfully funny as the shepherds" ~ Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, 13 April 2009, in Theatre Record 2009, Issue 8
"The Sicilian summit with Polixenes, King of Bohemia, is done as an Edwardian dinner party with crackers and candlelight (very RSC, very Adrian Noble) in a huge grey library with little Mamillius...cowering under the great long table....Florizel is a likely lad, though, in Tunji Kasim's surprisingly Belfast inflections....Noma Dumezweni is a too blustery Paulina, allowing her good sense and niceness to overrun her delivery of the lines. It's tricky in the thrust stage arena, I admit. I even thought I heard Larrington Walker as the Old Shepherd say of the young prince: 'They call him Dorothy,' when what he actually said was: 'They call him Florizel.' Walking away afterwards, I overheard one or two customers saying they'd had trouble hearing." ~ Michael Coveney, The Independent, 14 April 2009, in Theatre Record 2009, Issue 8
"Noma Dumezweni's Paulina, a passionate and articulate antagonist in the opening acts, has found a solidarity in sorrow over the passing years." ~ Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times, 14 April 2009, in Theatre Record 2009, Issue 8