Book review: Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare’s Globe
Why Shakespeare is a hardy survivor, and in unlikely parts of the world
In early 2013, just as the first shoots of spring had uncurled themselves from the hard earth of the cold season in Delhi, I found myself at a lively production of The Winter’s Tale, a late Shakespeare play. This is a “problem play", one of the handful in the Shakespeare oeuvre whose overall darkness and ambiguity complicate their comic passages and traditional happy endings. This production, by the Tadpole Repertory and Wide Aisle, chose to cast the intrigue of jealousy, betrayal and dishonour that unfolds in a Sicilian court in Shakespeare’s English, almost like a ritually glum Greek tragedy. For the big change of pace, when it becomes a pastoral comedy about young lovers whose identity is fatefully connected with those of the tragic king and queen, the players spoke their lines in Hindustani—a tripping, mellifluous translation.