Skip to main content

A Winter’s Tale or A Child Hath Found Her Mother

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow
Three Stars

The tables are set, the bunting is out and everyone is prepared to eat cake in this new take on one of Shakespeare’s so-called ‘problem plays’, meaning a work too willfully contrary with its own style to be dubbed either comedy or tragedy. Or, as latter day parlance might deem this dense story of misguided jealousy, emotional and physical exile and inevitable reconciliation; it’s complicated.

These complications are wrapped up in several other layers in Marc Silberschatz’s production, performed by Masters students from the RCS’ Contemporary and Classical Text course. As if Good King Leontes’ throwing his rattle out of the pram wasn’t enough after he accuses his old pal Polixenes of doing the dirty with his Queen Hermione, little does he know that his long lost daughter Perdita has her eye on dangerous liaisons of her own.

Silberschatz’s own adaptation duly turns the play upside down, with additional text by Thomas Dekker and inspiration in part from American novelist Kathryn Davis. So Polixenes’ son Florizel is here a daughter called Calantha. Both names relate to flowers in bloom, and Calantha’s disguise as boy-shepherd Doricles has a Yentl-like frisson as she tries identities out for size in a thoroughly modern kingdom.

If such a shift risks distracting from the mess Leontes makes of things, it also reveals him as a man out of time. The play is powered by a nuanced performance from Andy Camichel as Leontes, who looks every inch the small-town dignitary posing for photo-ops at the church fete. With Catherine King’s live British Sign Language interpretation woven into the action, there is fine ensemble support led by Jaimee Aislyn de Witt as Leontes and Hermione’s son Mamillius, with Eddi Asher’s Perdita and Emilia Wallace’s Calantha making the cutest of couples. The cake may be left untouched at the end, but winter is about to turn to spring.

The Herald, March 6th 2020



Popular posts from this blog

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1 1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77) 3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77) 4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77) 5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77) 6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77) 7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77) 8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78) 9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78) 10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79)  11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79) 12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79)  13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79) 14. JOLT See Saw (6/79) 15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79) 16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79) 17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79) 18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79) 19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79) 20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79) 21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79) 22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79) 23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79) 24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80) 25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980) 1. THE REZILL

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

DISC 1 1. THE STONE ROSES   -  Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3   -  Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART   -  Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS   -  Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY  -  Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!   -  Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS  -  I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS  -  In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES   -  Everso 10. THE SEERS   -  Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND  -  You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS  -  We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE   -  Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS   -  Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND  -  In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES  -  Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS   -  Justice In Freedom (12" Version) 1. THE STONE ROSES    Don’t Stop ( Silvertone   ORE   1989) The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds

Edinburgh Rocks – The Capital's Music Scene in the 1950s and Early 1960s

Edinburgh has always been a vintage city. Yet, for youngsters growing up in the shadow of World War Two as well as a pervading air of tight-lipped Calvinism, they were dreich times indeed. The founding of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947 and the subsequent Fringe it spawned may have livened up the city for a couple of weeks in August as long as you were fans of theatre, opera and classical music, but the pubs still shut early, and on Sundays weren't open at all. But Edinburgh too has always had a flipside beyond such official channels, and, in a twitch-hipped expression of the sort of cultural duality Robert Louis Stevenson recognised in his novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a vibrant dance-hall scene grew up across the city. Audiences flocked to emporiums such as the Cavendish in Tollcross, the Eldorado in Leith, The Plaza in Morningside and, most glamorous of all due to its revolving stage, the Palais in Fountainbridge. Here the likes of Joe Loss and Ted Heath broug