The Winter's Tale

The Winter's Tale

25 students of the British section of Grand-Air rehearsed every Wednesday afternoon starting in September, to prepare for two representations of William Shakespeare'sThe Winter's Tale. It was then played in English, March 18th and 19th at the MJC of La Baule. This play was really enjoyable. We thank the students and their English teacher Mrs Helena Blasco, who directed the production of the play with the help of Mrs Lucie Baudin.

The Winter's Tale was most likely played for the first time in 1611.

The title suggests a tale told in winter near the fireplace. The imaginary and poetic setting hides, in fact, a more serious subject. Happily, the tragedy of the jealousy ends with a reconciliation, particularly moving in this play presented by the students. They were very successful at portraying different emotions and feelings.

The young actors were remarkable. We have to mention them all because each of them gave life to their character(s). To begin with, the young Olivier Laillé student in sixième (6h grade) played with freshness the role of Maximilius, innocent victim of the jealous delirious state of Leontes.

The moment when the sick spirit of the King collapses was interpreted in a delicate manner by Jasper Eaton. Queen Hermione's grace and dignity were expressed by the touching Cloe Parent. She was supported by her attentive ladies, Leane Gaury, Corinne Chancerel, Laeticia Garbaccio, and Celestine Denèle – who was also the kindMopsa, a shepherdess accompanied by malicious Dorcas, played by Manon Sauteron. The clever Paulina was incarnated by Caroline Lemarié.

King Polixenes, moved by the events, was played with preciseness by Olivier Blasco. William Bruch was the good Camillo. The beautifulcouple of lovers was ideally represented by Selena Chalet as Perdita, and Julien Dersy as Florizel.

Benjamin Smith as the Old Shepherd was successful at playing an octogenarian and Charlotte Coyle, as the Clown, his son, expressed all the vivacity of the role.

Pierre-Arthur Michaud, as the devoted Antogonus, ended up being devoured by a bear while his associate, the Mariner Romain Grizaud was running away. Pierre Thierry, Kenzo Szyjan, Mathieu Gaborit who played the Lords, were worthy of admiration. We enjoyed to see Matthew Coyle as a charming musician. Finally, Time, as a chorus, was represented by two young actresses with sumptuous dresses, Kaohsiung Dlamini and Taipei Dlamini. They portrayed the double face of Time, joy and terror, good and bad...

But who was the bear ?

All actors showed a good mastery of Shakespeare's language. Louison Lérein played the flute with talent. The public was filled with admiration for the dancers : Pauline Baudu, Selena Chalet, Charlotte Coyle, Célestine Denèle, Julien Dersy, Jasper Eaton, Laeticia Garbaccio, Romain Grizaud, Bryoni Hird, Pierre-Arthur Michau, Manon Sauteron, Pierre Henry. The very simple scenery was expressive and cleverly used while the lighting supported the acting beautifully.

The play presented to the public the damages caused by Leontes's jealousy – cold and death – and the reconciliation, promise of rebirth. The young actors and their professor, Mrs. Blasco, were applauded with enthusiasm.

This great success prepares the students for the OIB. The exam requests a good knowledge of The Winter's Tale.  

Translated by N.R., L.S., E.B.

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