There are a few sure things when it comes to any Shakespearian romance: Things will never go smoothly; someone will end up running around in the woods; people will jump to conclusions like it's an Olympic sport and identities will be hidden and/or mistaken to the point that no one is quite sure who anyone else is.
And when it comes to meeting these very Shakespearean conditions, The Winter's Tale is at the head of the class. Idaho Shakespeare Festival will officially open its production Saturday, Aug. 4, with a preview night Friday, Aug. 3. The play will continue its run through Sunday, Aug. 26.
The play is not commonly seen on the modern stage, yet it has all the elements that have made Shakespeare's works so omnipresent.
Here's how it breaks down: A king convinces himself that his wife and his best friend (a king from a neighboring land) are having an affair and that the child his wife is pregnant with is not his own. Cue the murder plot, the fleeing into the woods, the imprisonment and a whole lot of ill will and, of course, quite a few untimely deaths.
Despite the fact that the king is proven wrong, he declares that the newborn be abandoned.
Of course, the child is saved and grows up not knowing her royal heritage, falls in love with the son of falsely accused king/best friend and craziness ensues.
ISF Director of Marketing Hannah Read said the production will have the distinct feel of a fairy tale—neither modern nor period but a bit dreamy. For fans of traditional Shakespeare, this is definitely a production to catch.