Shakespeare Saturday: Cymbeline

Pardon's the word to all. Cymbeline is a play full of fantastical (or fantastically convoluted) plot twists, creative character names and sort of knowing winks to his earlier plays. There's a cross-dressing woman! Mistaken identities! Evil Queens! And a title that is ever so slightly inaccurate - in fact, so much so that when staging … Continue reading Shakespeare Saturday: Cymbeline

Shakespeare Saturday: The winter’s tale

Though I am not naturally honest, I am sometimes so by chance. The Winter's Tale is another work hovering somewhere between "late pastoral romance", comedy and a problem play, having a somewhat problematic structure - the first three acts are a dark, somber tragedy, a portrayal of the madness of King Leontes that results in … Continue reading Shakespeare Saturday: The winter’s tale

Shakespeare Saturday: All’s well that ends well

The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together All's well that ends well is another problem play, though it's more comedic than Measure for Measure or Troilus and Cressida - a traditional comedy in appearances, but with a resolution that will leave something of an aftertaste. Like in many … Continue reading Shakespeare Saturday: All’s well that ends well

Shakespeare Saturday: The merry wives of Windsor

I will find you twenty lascivious turtles ere one chaste man Sandwiched between the two parts of Henry IV is a fairly pointless comedy featuring Sir John Falstaff, in a different but nonetheless recognisable guise of lecherous old knight fancying himself a bit of ladies' man. Falstaff has arrived in Windsor, where he's making himself … Continue reading Shakespeare Saturday: The merry wives of Windsor

Shakespeare Saturday: The Merchant of Venice

You speak an infinite deal of nothing. The Merchant is another oddity of a play. Like many Shakespeare plays, it has two parallel storylines - that of Portia and her marriage woes, and that of Shylock the Jew. One is a romantic comedy. The other is... an uneasy tragedy of horrifying proportions. The romantic comedy … Continue reading Shakespeare Saturday: The Merchant of Venice