By Hoo Sook Hwang
AAP staff writer
ST. PAUL (Feb. 24, 2014) — Before I could upload the experience I had of viewing the play, Tristan and Yseault, into my brain I was forced to download the original opera (of Tristan and Isolde), from the Metropolitan Opera website. It was then I started to understand a morsel of the story line and its plausible humor.
Tristan and Ysealt, at the Guthrie Theater was a confusing and manic experience of love and jealousy. One minute, men were at war fighting over the beloved Tristan and the next, dancing in merriment over the possession of her heart and soul. The metaphorical attempts to connect sinking ships to failing relationships made fun of ways in which humans tend to catastrophize failed relationships, despite the potent magic of romantic love. It seemed to me like an attempt to morph Shakespeare into the equivalent of a musical?
While creative, the polarizing shifts from love and hate were difficult to follow. Actors and actresses worked to make light of a once, very serious love story, which ended tragically. It’s definitely a play I would need to see again to understand completely. Having a strong framework of the story prior to viewing would have been beneficial. Talented actors and musicians engaged and humored the audience to participate, all while dancing with delight and retelling a middle age story about the narcissistic egos of heart stricken men.
Yet, in the end tragedy fell among those who were sentenced to be, “Unloved,” for the rest of there lives. Obvious talent bestowed the story. However, I suggest that potential viewers take some time to introduce themselves to the original story line of complex characters and historical perspectives prior to attending the play to experience the plays full potential. All in all, it was an interesting and provocative play, which made me want to investigate further towards learning more about its origin.