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Eve Best, Danny Sapani and Shaun Dooley star in this modern, riveting and magical production of The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare.

The Winter's Tale treads new dramatic ground embracing tragedy, poetry, folklore, magic realism, music, comedy and the infamous stage direction 'exit pursued by a bear'. One of Shakespeare's mesmerising later productions, it is often considered a 'problem play' as it starts with a tragedy and ends in a romance. 

The story starts with the consuming jealousy of King Leontes of Sicilia towards his wife Hermione and his childhood friend King Polixenes of Bohemia. Believing they are lovers and the child she is carrying is illegitimate, Leontes begins a destructive path: the breaking of his marriage and the abandonment of his child. 

What seems hopeless, tragic and irreconcilable changes in act two where jealousy and actions arouse a passionate sense of honour, love, justice and self-sacrifice in members of his court and family. The baby, Perdita, is raised by a shepherd, unaware of her royal heritage. It seems she will never discover the truth of her birth, but when Prince Florizel sees her and falls in love, it seems fate has other ideas.... 

This production brings together a star cast and includes an original folk music score by award-winning musicians Lisa Knapp and Tim Van Eyken. 

Production Credits

Written by William Shakespeare
Music composed by Tim Van Eyken and singer Lisa Knapp
Director: David Hunter
First Broadcast BBC Radio 4 on 1st May 2016 as part of The Shakespeare Sessions series

Cast List
Leontes - Danny Sapani
Hermione - Eve Best
Polixenes - Shaun Dooley
Camillo - Karl Johnson
Paulina - Susan Jameson
Shepherd - Paul Copley
Perdita - Faye Castelow
Autolycus - Tim Van Eyken
Florizel - Will Howard
Mamillius - Charlie Brand
Archidamus - Sean Baker
Antigonus - Brian Protheroe
Clown - Sam Rix
Emilia - Scarlett Brookes
Cleomenes - Richard Pepple
Dion - Nick Underwood
First Lady - Adie Allen
Mopsa - Nicola Ferguson
First Lord - James Lailey
Mariner - Sargon Yelda
Officer - Ewan Bailey

©2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd (P)2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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  • Tad Davis
  • 01-05-21


A brilliant production of one of Shakespeare’s most beautiful plays. If that last scene doesn’t make you cry, you need help.

3 people found this helpful