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Mike Labbadia

The Winter’s Tale (Bedlam)

October 21, 2022

Many of Bedlam’s productions have used small casts with most of the actors playing more than one role. In the case of "The Winter’s Tale," not one of Shakespeare’s more often produced plays, the casting uses so few actors  that the play becomes confusing and difficult to follow, and a great many characters and much dialogue has necessarily been cut. In one head-scratching scene, Elan Zafir is required to play King Polixenes and his son Prince Florizel at the same time. While the sets and costumes are modern, with the Shakespeare poetry sacrificed to sound like contemporary speech, the characters are still referred to as “King Leontes” and his wife “Queen Hermione.” As the setting by John McDermott looks like three rooms in a frat house, one wonders why the Royal Family of Sicilia would be living in such shabby quarters and continually guzzling beer in the palace. [more]