[EN with French subtitles] One of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, The Winter’s Tale tells of a delusional and paranoid king who tears his family apart... But the initial darkness gives way to redemption as Time leads the characters to an unexpected and joyful conclusion…
The Winter’s Tale tells the story of King Leontes, King of Sicilia, a ruler consumed by jealousy, and his suspicious delusions surrounding his pregnant wife Hermione, whom he believes to be having an affair with his childhood friend, King Polixenes of Bohemia.
When Leontes believes his unfounded suspicions to be confirmed, he imprisons his wife. Hermione gives birth to a daughter, Perdita, and in his rage, Leontes orders that the baby be abandoned. Hermione and their son Mamilius die of distress, and Leontes is overcome with remorse.
The passage of sixteen years is announced by the character of Time. The grown-up Perdita, who had been taken to Bohemia, is discovered by a shepherd. She falls in love with Florizel, son of Polixenes, and the pair of young lovers are married. Polixenes is consumed with fury at his son’s love for a commoner, and so the newlyweds flee the country, arriving in Sicilia. Perdita is recognised as the daughter of Hermione by the still-mournful Leontes, who is delighted at the discovery. The family is reunited as Hermione is miraculously restored to life.
Introduction to the play by Janine Goedert at 7.30pm before every performance (in English)
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