William Shakespeare

The Winter's Tale
  • The Winter's Tale

    • William Shakespeare

    • Paul Copley (Read by)

    • Full Cast (Read by)

    • Susan Jameson (Read by)

    • Karl Johnson (Read by)

    • Shaun Dooley (Read by)

    • Danny Sapani (Read by)

    • Eve Best (Read by)

    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, 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 2 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 3 on the 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

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, and was baptised on 26 April 1564. His father was a glove maker and wool merchant and his mother, Mary Arden, was the daughter of a well-to-do local land owner. Shakespeare was probably educated in Stratford’s grammar school. In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway, and the couple had a daughter the following year and twins in 1585. Shakespeare’s theatrical life seems to have commenced around 1590. We do know that he was part of the Lord Chamberlain’s Company, which was renamed the King’s Company in 1603 when James I succeeded to the throne. The Company acquired interests in two theatres in the Southwark area of London, near the banks of the Thames - the Globe and the Blackfriars. Shakespeare’s poetry was published before his plays, with two poems appearing in 1593 and 1594, dedicated to his patron Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. Most of Shakespeare’s sonnets were probably written at this time as well. Records of Shakespeare’s plays begin to appear in 1594, and he produced roughly two a year until around 1611. His earliest plays include Henry VI and Titus Andronicus. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Richard II all date from the mid to late 1590s. Some of his most famous tragedies were written in the early 1600s; these include Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth and Antony & Cleopatra. His late plays, often known as the Romances, date from 1608 onwards and include The Tempest. Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623 and is known as ‘the First Folio’.

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