I know what you're thinking. I've gone completely mad. I'm about to talk about breaking one of the most fundamental rules of writing. You always show don't tell, or do you??
Back in my university days as a English major, I took a Shakespeare class, which I absolutely loved. My professor was big into dramatic plays, Henry the V, Lear, Hamlet etc. I on the other hand loved the comedies, especially The Taming of the Shrew. I remember for one essay question we had to take one play and compare different adaptations. I watched the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton movie then I watched a stage production that someone had taped.
There were lots of differences, but one that has continually stuck out in my mind, is the wedding scene. In the movie they show Richard Burton arriving late to wed Ms. Taylor and in outlandish clothes. They show him acting badly during the ceremony. He pretends to fall asleep, has a coughing attack, and basically acts like a major louse.
In the play this all happens off stage. An actor comes in and recounts the events of the wedding to his companion. He describes Pertruchio's attire, and retells his horrible behavior. I have to say the actor who played, I think the character's name is Gremio, was fantastic. He had me laughing so hard I almost wept.
I know this is comparing movies to plays, which is something completely different than writing a novel, but do you think that there is ever a time when it is more advantageous to tell and not show.
What do you think? Or is this just one rule you should never break?