All's Well that Ends Well
From: Wednesday, 18th February 2004
To: Saturday, 8 May 2004
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A romantic fairytale. Helena, daughter of a poor physician, loves Bertram, son of a Countess. She wins his hand in marriage as a reward for curing the dying King - but Bertram does not love Helena and insists on her fulfilling several impossible tasks before accepting his duties as husband.
20 February 2004
Anyone who’s seen promotional posters for this RSC production of All's Well That Ends Well would be forgiven for thinking it’s a vehicle for Judi Dench. In fact, her role, the Countess of Rossillion, is not a major one - she’s absent for a large chunk of the middle part of the play - so it’s sad the producers feel the need for such misleading advertising.
The play itself is performed fairly infrequently, which is strange, since it's by no means awful: the action is tightly plotted; there’s a memorable comic part in Parolles, a sort of younger, more sober Falstaff; and, while there are no big set-piece speeches or memorable poetry, that’s true of other plays that are far more often performed.
The real problems with All's Well, for modern audiences anyway, are the ‘hero’ Bertram, and Helena’s reaction to his betrayal and cruelty. Her dogged love, despite his appalling behaviour, and their reconciliation at the end strike a harsh c...
Latest User Review
USER: Whatsonstage.com (188.8.131.52) - 6 April 2004:
Wonderful production of an indifferent play. Guy Henry, Judi Dench and Claudie Blakely all tremendous. I suppose Jamie Glover must be good as he is so irritating!...
Judi Dench (Dame - Countess of Rissillion)
Claudie Blakely (Helena)
Jamie Glover (Bertram)
Guy Henry (Parolles)
Sarah Jane Wolverson