The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0342  Monday, 24 April 2006

From: 		Helen Whall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: 		Saturday, 22 Apr 2006 11:55:30 -0400
Subject: 17.0333 All's Well in Boston
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0333 All's Well in Boston

I took students to see this AWEW production on opening night. It was 
already, amazingly, in great shape.  This is a very "honest" 
production-not too concept-laden, lots of attention to language and very 
intelligent cuts. Simple, clever set required by the space and 
"traveling company" realities.  I think we get to see theater magic at 
its best when directors and designers are up against a limited space and 
a limited budget.

The actor who plays Bertram doubles as the Clown, but clearly more for 
economy than thematic import. He transforms his features and voice in 
such an effective way that my students didn't catch the doubling at 
first and were never subsequently distracted. Nor did the doubling alter 
their hostility to the Bertram character. John Kuntz, as the clown, 
assumes an eerie resemblance to the late Dudley More crossed with The 
Black Adder/Rowen Atkins.  He makes this clown hysterically funny in, 
not despite the silliness. As Bertram he is quite credibly callow, 
reluctant even to help the ailing King before Helen arrives.  Nice take 
on the king's insistence both to Helen and Bertram that they marry. And 
no cheating at the end...we are left both satisfied and troubled. The 
cast is very strong, especially the women, though Diana needs to speak 
up/project.   I'm betting that happened once she got feedback for 
performance two. Fine use of music throughout as under-commentary on the 
play and on love, ah sweet-sour love.

This is a young company of not exceptionally young actors. They play 
where they can find a house and I'll follow them anywhere!

Helen Whall

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