Ticketmaster Summer in Stages

The Winter's Tale

William Shakespeare
Royal Lyceum Theatre Company
Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
(2007)

Publicity photograph

Despite a cast which qualifies as 'star studded' in terms of the Scottish theatre community, The Winter's Tale is mind-numbingly dull, in places making no sense whatsoever. Audiences are advised to give the Lyceum wide berth till the next show of the series, Brian Friel's Living Quarters, later this autumn.

Alan Francis (Antigonus and Atolycus) and Robin Laing (Lord and Young Shepard) give the most engaging performances of the evening, happily elevating their scenes to the status of 'watchable.' The usually engaging Liam Brennan was hardly in top form; unlike most of his portrayals of Shakespearean characters, his Leontes failed to inspire much interest, and Una McLean strutted and blustered her way through her roles as both Paulina and Dorcas without adding depth or humanity to either role.

Robin Don's sterile, white set, and Mark Thomson's predictably drudging direction make this production an all-around bore. On a different note, Philip Pinsky's score is light and airy, definitely the high point of the production.

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Reviewer: Rachel Lynn Brody