Winter’s Tales at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

With a venue as special as the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, it seems fitting to host a variety of events. The reconstructed Jacobean indoor theatre, which opened last year adjacent to The Globe, has already staged opera as well as plays and an eclectic mix of musical concerts. The latest idea is Winter’s Tales – a series of readings by candlelight with musical accompaniment.

Stories by Daphne du Maurier brought the season to a spine-chilling conclusion, following on from work by Anton Chekhov, Katherine Mansfield, D H Lawrence, James Joyce and F Scott Fitzgerald. Harriet Walter gave a great reading, joining a list of equally impressive previous performers: Penelope Wilton, Deborah Findlay, Roger Allam and Aidan Gillen.

Walters read The Happy Valley, a surreal ghost story set in Cornwall, and The Birds, which was surprisingly just as taut and exciting as Hitchcock’s film. Being read to is an incredible indulgence – the perfect Christmas treat. And while the dark nights really add to spooky stories, it’s to be hoped the theatre continues these events so we can have this blissful experience all year round.

Photo by Peter May

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