Do you have your doubts about Shakespeare? Let's see if we can convince you otherwise!
As all Game of Thrones fans know (as well as everyone who is currently looking solemnly out of the window right now) winter is coming... actually, at the Octagon, The Winter's Tale is coming, and it’s making us look forward to the colder months!
Why? Well The Winter’s Tale is not one of Shakespeare's most famous plays, such as Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet, but director David Thacker thinks it is one of his best - possibly even the best Shakespeare play.
Not convinced? Here are 5 disproved reasons why you shouldn’t come to see Shakespeare’s penultimate play.
I DON'T KNOW THE STORY AND THINK IT WILL BE CONFUSING
Let’s face it, on the surface, all of Shakespeare’s stories are a bit confusing. When you break them down though, the storylines he uses aren’t that much different from those you see in Coronation Street or Eastenders.
Shakespeare was interested in the drama people faced in their lives - and we haven't changed that much in 400 years - we still want to be loved, we still have moments of jealously and sometimes even crave power and money.
Don’t believe that Shakespeare is that relevant? Take Act One from The Winter’s Tale which involves a husband who becomes paranoid and starts to suspect his wife of having an affair with his best mate behind his back. However much his wife protests, he doesn't believe her - until the whole situation reaches a climax and his actions make him responsible for not only her death but also the death of both of his children. Realizing the consequences of his jealousy, he falls into a deep depression. Now we think that could definitely be a storyline in a soap, don’t you?
I DON'T LIKE SHAKESPEAREAN LANGUAGE OR I DON’T THINK I WILL UNDERSTAND IT
Shakespeare's language can seem very foreign to us, but it hasn’t survived this long for no good reason! Think of some of the great lines from his plays that we all recognise and use today: “wild goose chase”, “it’s Greek to me”, “the long and short of it”, “you’ve got to be cruel to be kind”, “seen better days”, “all the world’s a stage”, “you suffer green-eyed jealousy”, “you can’t have too much of a good thing” and many, many more.
Spoken with emotion and passion by our amazing cast we genuinely think you will hear the beauty of the language and fall in love with this play as much as we have.
IT SOUNDS LIKE IT WILL BE DEPRESSING
Okay, so the first act isn't a laugh a minute (see above) but this is a story of two halves unlike any other of Shakespeare's plays. The second act is one of laughter, music and dance. The cast bring to life the beauty and joy of Bohemia. In modern day terms it’s a bit like Escape to the County, a picturesque idyllic village where you can practice mindfulness.
Not only that but the whole story is based on forgiveness and love, so you can trust us that by the end you will feel uplifted and hopeful, convinced that however bad a situation is, friendship and love can make it better - it will all be alright again!
IT WILL BE OLD FASHIONED
It won't be quite Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, but this won't be the traditional tights and ruffs production either. This will be stylish production set in Georgian Lancashire with gorgeous costumes, an impressive set and music specially created for this production. We have a brilliant team working on the production including Adrian Johnston who is composing the music (his previous experience includes music for films including Brideshead Revisited, Becoming Jane and Lassie) as well as cast whose credits include Emmerdale, Coronation Street, the RSC, National Theatre and West End to name just a few.
It will be beautiful, bold and fresh!
IT WILL BE REALLY BORING
Like we mentioned earlier, this is a story of two halves. Act One is a condensed Shakespearean tragedy (in comparison, Hamlet takes a whole 5 acts to reach its climax!) so the story will be fast-paced and psychologically gripping.
Act Two is a love story, full of forbidden love and youthful persistence. Again in a lot of Shakespeare's plays this could be the whole play.
There really is so much going on that you will be carried along with this engaging love story until the most extraordinary final climax ever seen in a Shakespeare play.
Boring? With all that happening, there’s no way!
So there you have it! Why not come and see one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays in Bolton this Autumn – you don’t really have a reason not to!
The Winter’s Tale plays from Fri 21 October – Sat 5 November 2016 with tickets from £11