Winter is here! Shakespeare's tale opens at Roman Theatre Open Air Festival in St Albans
- Credit: Tim Morozzo
Winter is here! Theatre company OVO's third production of the summer – Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale – has opened at the Roman Theatre in St Albans.
Following the return of the Maltings Theatre's winter production of Peter Pan and a version of Shakespeare's farcical The Comedy of Errors, with the action set in a beachfront karaoke bar, The Winter's Tale can now be seen at the Roman Theatre of Verulamium.
Co-directed by the Maltings Theatre's artistic director Adam Nichols, who also performs as King Leontes, and Maltings associate director Janet Podd, this new adaptation of the Bard's timeless tragicomedy of obsession and redemption can be seen at the historic outdoor venue on various dates until Saturday, July 10.
The Roman Theatre of Verulamium, on the Gorhambury Estate, was built circa 140AD and is the only example of its kind in Britain, being a theatre with a stage rather than an amphitheatre.
The Winter’s Tale weaves high drama and low comedy to tell a story of heartbreak, reunion and newfound hope.
“This is such a wonderful play,” says Janet.
“Like so much Shakespeare, it encompasses the human experience and while there are highly comic scenes there are scenes of tragedy, too."
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King Leontes of Sicilia appears to have it all: power, wealth, loving friends and adoring family.
But, convinced his pregnant wife is having an affair with his best friend, his jealousy sets in motion a chain of events with tragic consequences.
The play’s two distinct worlds, Sicilia and Bohemia, are distinguished through set design, costume and performance.
Co-director Adam Nichols said of his part in the production: "The role of King Leontes is an exciting and challenging one for any actor; he's complex and driven, variously described as jealous, villainous, destructive, even childish.
"I've been rediscovering my acting chops with Janet Podd's help and I'm really enjoying the discipline of acting again."
OVO and the Maltings Theatre will be taking this inventive and accessible take on William Shakespeare's play to the famous Minack Theatre in Cornwall from July 18 to July 28.
For more on the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival, visit maltingstheatre.co.uk/home