All's Well That Ends Well, Jermyn Street Theatre - ★★★★★ - Until November 30, 2019


All's Well That Ends Well is often labelled a problem comedy, and it certainly offers a problem for contemporary audiences and sensibilities. It tells the story of the unrequited love of the virtuous Helena for the rather shallow Bertram and really makes us question why she abases herself to pursue this unworthy object of her affections. Tom Littler tries to address this issue in a wonderfully economical production using just six actors. He does so by focussing on Helena's reaction to the trauma of her father's death and frames the story with her memories. She acts in response to her loss and to her need to belong. Hannah Morrish excels as the lovestruck Helena, and Gavin Fowler is equally strong as the callow Bertram. Robert Mountford is delightful as Bertram's friend of bad influence whose exposure as a coward makes the protagonist reconsider his behaviour. Miranda Foster is simply outstanding in her multiple roles as The Countess, Queen and Widow. She creates clear individuals in every instance and imbues them with personality. All of these actors deserve kudos for their clear and thoughtful delivery of the text. Shakespeare is too often emoted or run through as if his words were a tongue twister. The use of dual pianos played by Ceri-Lyn Cissone and Stefan Bednarczyk worked beautifully to underscore the story and interpretation of the play, and Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" and Judy Collins' "My Father" certainly capture the mood Littler is going for. This production of the problem play definitely ought to be seen.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until November 30 , 2019
Mon - Sat: 7:30 pm, Tue & Sat: 3:30 pm
Jermyn Street Theatre
Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus
https://www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk/show/alls-well-that-ends-well/

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