The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare

26, 27, 28 May 2011

Will be Directed by Pat Stimson

Booking Office now open

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Director's synopsis...

Polixenes, King of Bohemia, has been visiting his boyhood friend, Leontes, King of Sicilia, for nine months and now needs to return home to his wife and son and his royal duties. Leontes asks him to stay longer and then encourages his heavily pregnant Queen, Hermione. to persuade him. She is so successful that Leontes becomes insanely jealous and concludes that they have been having an affair. He orders his counsellor and friend, the Lord Camillo, to poison Polixenes, but Camillo warns Polixenes and they escape to Bohemia.

Leontes then turns on his wife, Hermione, accusing her of adultery and orders her to be tried for this and treason. Hermione gives birth to a daughter, Perdita, and despite the efforts of the Lady Paulina to make Leontes see reason, he orders her husband, Antigonus, to take the child and abandon it in some remote place.

Hermione is put on trial and declared innocent by the Delphic Oracle. Leontes refuses to accept it, his son dies, Hermione collapses and Paulina informs him that his queen is now dead. Leontes realises the depth of his Tyranny and declares that with Paulina's help he will dedicate the rest of his life to grieving for his dead wife and son and a reconciliation with Polixenes and Camillo.

Meanwhile, Antigonus has taken the baby to the coast of Bohemia where he leaves her together with documents, etc, for identification. He is then killed by a bear while trying to get back to his sinking ship. A shepherd and his son find the baby and take her to their home.

Time moves on sixteen years.

Carmillo has lived at Polixenes' court and now wishes to return home to Sicilia, but Polixenes, worried by his son, Prince Florizel's neglect of his royal duties to spend time at a shepherd's house, asks Camillo to stay and help him follow his son. Camillo reluctantly agrees and they go to the shepherd's house in disguise.

Perdita has grown into a beautiful young woman and is queen of the Sheep-shearing festival. She and Florizel have fallen in love and at the festival, Florizel announces his intention to marry her. Enraged, Polixenes reveals his identity and forbids it, threatening Perdita, the Shepherd and his son with death if the affair continues.

Florizel renounces his father and the throne of Bohemia for Perdita and Camillo suggests that they go to Sicilia and Leontes' court. Knowing that Poliuxenes will follow his son, Camillo tells him of their plans. The frightened shepherd and his son decide to show Polixenes the documents they found with Perdita but are met on their way by the thief, Autolycus, who misdirects them onto the boat going to Sicilia.

Leontes' welcome to the couple is interrupted by a message from Polixenes, insisting that they are detained. The shepherd arrives with proof of Perdita's identity, their betrothal is blessed by Polixenes, the kings are reconciled and Paulina learns of Antigonus' death. The court then go to Paulina's house for the unveiling of a statue of Hermione... or is it?.

Leontes, King of Sicilia

Hermione, Queen of Sicilia

Mamillius, Prince of Sicilia

Perdita, Princess of Sicilia

Camillo, a noble of Sicilia

Antigonus, a noble of Sicilia

Paulina, Antigonus' wife

A Mariner

Polixenes, King of Bohemia

Florizel, Prince of Bohemia

Archidamus, a Bohehian courtier

Autolycus, a Rogue

A shepherd of Bohemia

Clown, the shepherd's son

Emilia, a servant lady to Hermione

Lady 1, of the Sicilian Court

Lady 2, of the Sicilian Court

Mopsa, a Bohemian shepherdess

Dorcas, a Bohemian shepherdess

A lord of the Sicilian court

An officer of the Sicilian court

Time, a personification

Autolycus. A disgraced courtier

Peasants in Bohemia



Servants in Sicilia





Simon Carney

Michelle Clare Hudson

Josie Chapman

Sarah Godsell

Mike Schofield

Godfrey Laundy

Sarah McMahon

Mike Schofield

Rob Pardoe

Matthew Godsell

Alan Cross

Rob Creer

Malcomb Watson

Nick Pearce

Di Pardoe

Helen Briggs

Gaynor Clark

Becky Sawicki-Gregg

Andy Fisher

Terry Mills

Geoff Wilkinson

Di Pardoe

Rob Creer

Godfrey Laundy

  Helen Briggs

  Gaynor Clark

Becky Sawicki-Gregg

  Andy Fisher



Ray Bulmer