Plays Directory : The Winter's Tale

The information below is intended to give you a brief guide to the show and highlight some of the other The Mandy Network members who have also been involved in this show.

  • Author
    William Shakespeare
  • Overview
    One of Shakespeare's last, great plays, "The Winter's Tale" presents a story whose political themes would have had obvious force for its contemporaneous audience. Most early-17th Century listeners and readers knew that their last married king (prior to the incumbent James I), Henry VIII, had disposed of two of his wives - Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard - on grounds of sexual infidelity; the evidence for the initial accusations was an opaque mixture of paranoid wish-fulfillment and personal pragmatism, legitimated by being voiced in the forum of the Reformist Tudor politics of the 1530s and '40s. Thus we have Leontes, king of Sicilia, deluded with frightening rapidity into believing his pregnant wife Hermione and boyhood fr iend Polixenes, king of Bohemia, are conducting a secret and treasonous affair, the imaginary nature of which is set coolly before the audience. Leontes' suspicions feed upon the misread acts of his disbelieving lords; he breaks in upon Hermione and the young prince, Mamillius - aptly, as Mamillius is unfolding a sad, winter's tale for his mother - and orders the queen's arrest and incarceration. Despite Hermione's magisterial self-defence and renunciation at the trial, and the plainer impartiality of the Oracle, Leontes is unrelenting until the reports of the offstage deaths of both Hermione and Mamillius shock him into a realization of his folly; the plot's first resolution is accompanied by the closing of the Sicilian action and the image of the banished, newborn child rescued from the shores of Bohemia.

    Act IV opens with personified Time bringing us forward to Spring and Polixenes' son Florizel meeting Perdita, wh ose identity as Leontes' daughter is guessed at by his estranged lord, Camillo. In flight from the disapproving king, the lovers travel to Sicilia where a reunion between father and daughter segues into a final rapprochment before the statue of Hermione, orchestrated by the steadfast Paulina. The play's second and final resolution places forgiveness and hard-won wisdom alongside a frank acknowlegement of the inevitability of loss.

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11 known characters

20 known roles


Connected mandy members:

Jack Gray
Jack Gray
Actor
2019, Leontes
Andrew P Stephen
2019, Leontes
Darwin College Gardens
Conor Kennedy
2019, Leontes
The Warren - The Hat / Brighton Fringe
Max Katz
Max Katz
Actor
2019, Leontes
Charlie Venables
2018, Leontes
Adam Chalk
Adam Chalk
Actor
2018, Leontes
Molly Olivia Rodelli
2018, Leontes
The ASHA Centre
Will Forester
2018, Leontes
Bridewell Theatre
Harry Harrington
2018, Leontes
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
Conrad Williamson
2017, Leontes
Kieran Donnelly
2017, Leontes
New Road Baptist Church, Oxford
Paul French
Paul French
Actor
2017, Leontes
John Cooper Studio
Calum Noakes
Calum Noakes
Actor
2017, Leontes
Clifftown Theatre
Alexander Ballinger
2017, Leontes
Alexander Hayden James Smith
2017, Leontes
John Lyon's Theatre, City Lit
Scott Noble
Scott Noble
Actor
2017, Leontes
Traquair House
Carl Briedis
Carl Briedis
Actor
2016, Leontes
Emrys Johns Studio
Guy Dennys
Guy Dennys
Actor
2016, Leontes
Cygnet Theatre
Tom Girvin
Tom Girvin
Actor
2016, Leontes
The Workhouse Theatre
Charles McGuire
2016, Leontes
Robinson College Gardens

Alternative Names

A Winter's Tale, a winters tale, the winters tale, Winters Tale