An A Level English set and all Year 12 Drama students made the journey to the Barbican Centre to see the renowned international touring company Cheek by Jowl’s stunning performance of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. Director Donald Donellan offered an imaginative take on one of the central characters, King Leontes, portraying his tyranny as a result of unstable mental health - with the stunningly acted character flipping from aggressively violent to affectionate and back again, often in the space of seconds. The slow build of tension throughout the first half climaxed in affecting tragedy as Leontes loses everything as a result of his jealousy and pride.

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The second half started off wildly different in feel, focussing instead on the mirth and fun of a sheep-shearing festival. Aided by the frequent use of disguise and demonstrating an irreverent self awareness of the contrastingly light-hearted tone, the play ultimately concluded with a reconciliatory and happy ending. A live stream, http://www.cheekbyjowl.com/livestream, of the play is currently running on the Cheek by Jowl website for every performance until the 7th May.