The Winter's Tale

The Winter's Tale

by William Shakespeare
directed by Keith Rylands-Bolton



ACT I: The play opens in the Kingdom of Sicilia where Polixenes, the King of Bohemia, is visiting his life long friend Leontes, the King of Sicilia. Leontes pleads with Polixenes not to leave for home and calls on his pregnant wife, Hermione, to entreat him to stay. Hermione pleads with him with such success that Polixenes accepts the further invitation. However, Leontes, viewing the exchange, believes they are having an affair - the intensity between them is so great. He orders his trusted servant, Camillo, to murder Polixenes. Camillo is so shocked at his master's rage that he instructs Polixenes to flee the country and escapes with him.

ACT II: Leotes, however, sees their departure as proof of their guilt and a plot against his life. He casts his pregnant wife into prison and rejects his daughter when Paulina brings the baby from Hermione's cell. He refuses to listen to any of his followers' pleas for clemency.

ACT III: Hermione is placed on trial and appeals to Leontes to heed the Oracle which will then exonerate her from the charges that have been placed against her. The Oracle pronounces Hermione's innocence, yet Leontes disowns its proclamation. On hearing of his son's death, Leontes repents and apologies to the Oracle, only to be told that Hermione has died of a broken heart. Meanwhile, Antigonus, on Leonte's orders, has taken Hermione's baby to a far off place to be left to die. In fulfilling this command, Antigonus is killed by one of the wild creatures of that country but the baby is saved by pastoral folk.

ACT IV: Sixteen years have passed. Pilixenes, in Bohemia, is concerned about the whereabouts of his son, Florizel, and both Polixenes and Camillo go disguised into the pastoral lands of Bohemia to search for Florizel. at a sheep-shearing festival and amid such pastoral celebration, Polixenes discovers his son is seeing a shepherd girl called Perdita and is so enraged that he orders the death of the shepherd and a strict punishment for Florizel and Perdita, who flee to escape his wrath to leontes in Sicilia.

ACT V: Meanwhile in Silicia, Leontes is still in penance, taunted by Paulina about his actions. Leontes does not recognise Perdita, who is in fact his daughter that Antigonus left to die sixteen years before. Polixenes comes to Bohemia to find his son and all is resolved. Paulina then uncovers a statue of Hermione, which transfixes Leontes. To the eerie sound of music, the statue stirs - it is the real Hermione who once again is reunited with Leontes.



Leontes, King of Sicilia Tim Bradford
Hermione, Queen of Sicilia Lynn Chapman
Mamillius, their son Luke Taylor
Polixenes, King of Bohemia Ian Uprichard
Camillo, Advisor to Sicilia Hugh Dower
Paulina - Lady in waiting Julie Taylor
Emilia - Lady in Waiting Noreen Bradford
Antigonus - Lord of Sicilia John Males
Cleomenes - Lord of Sicilia Gail Dennis
Dion - Lord of Sicilia Darren Cribb
Officer of the Court Sandra Price
Archidamus, Lord of Bohemia Keith Rylands-Bolton
Gaoler Bill Peachey
Mariner Charlotte Broughton
Time, the Chorus Jenny Peachey
Florizel, Prince of Bohemia Simon R Price
Perdita, Princess of Sicilia Karen Hunter
Shepherd, "father" of Perdita Andy Abernethy
Clown, his son Lisa Langston
Autolycus, a Rogue Mary Davidson
Baby Perdita Sarah, the doll
The Three Bears Themselves



Box Office Vicki Makin
Stage Management Pauline Uprichard & Lorna Cribb
Lights Graham Bird, Jenny Brundle & Andrew Hilton
Sound Robert Dennis
Set David Broughton & Ian Uprichard
Songs and Dance Mary Davidson
Programme Layout Ted Warner



Bermar Carpets; Walter Boulton; Lyn Curtis; Chris Dickinson; Richard Glover; N & EP Greenwood, Opticians; Julie Griffiths; VT Lancaster & Son; Margaret Marshall; The Robin Hood Theatre, Averham; Derek Maxted; Nick Proctor; Recycle; Steve Thatcher; Leslie Wilson