Shakespeare Winters Tale at the Garrick Theatre in London

The Winter's Tale

When King Leontes of Sicilia accuses his wife of adultery, his single-minded jealousy results in the fragmentation of his family, as wife and children are lost to illness, grief and abandonment. Sixteen years pass before his daughter, lost in the pastoral haven of Bohemia, begins a journey that will heal her family's wounds. Shakespeare's rich tragicomedy is a magical testament to the follies of hasty judgement and the force of love as a means of reconciliation.

2001: London Revival at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre

2002: London Revival at the Roundhouse (RSC)

2005: London Revival at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

2009: West End Revival at the Old Vic Theatre (The Bridge Project)

2010: London Revival at the Roundhouse (RSC)

2012: London Revival at the Shakespeare'e Globe Theatre (Yoruba)

2012: London Revival at the Hampstead Theatre (Propeller Theatre Company)

2013: London Revival at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre ("reimagined")

2015: West End Revival at the Garrick Theatre (Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company)

2016: London Revival at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

2017: London Revival at the Barbican Theatre (Cheek by Jowl)

2018: London Revival at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre


2001: London Revival at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre

Previewed 11 May 2001, Opened 23 May 2001, Closed 16 August 2001 (in repertory) at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre

The cast featured Alex Jennings as 'Leontes', Claire Skinner as 'Hermione', Melanie Clark Pullen as 'Perdita', Daniel Roberts as 'Florizel', Julian Wadham as 'Polixenes', Joe Dixon as 'Camillo', Deborah Findlay as 'Paulina', Geoffrey Beevers as 'Antigonus', Phil Daniels as 'Autolycus', Alex Dower as 'Prison Governor', Ann-Marie Roberts as 'Dorcas', Brigid Zengeni as 'Emilia', lorence Sparham as 'Nurse', Iain Robertson as 'Young Shepherd', John Normington as 'Old Shepherd',Katie Wimpenny as 'Second Lady',Katy Secombe as 'Mopsa', Nicholas Prideaux as 'Guard', Nick Sampson as 'Archidamus', Richard Addison as 'Court Officer', Stephen Rashbrook as 'Cleomenes', Steven Elliott as 'Dion', Branwell Donaghey, Elaine Claxton, Jennifer Scott-Malden, and Peter Eastland. Thomas Brown-Lowe and Liam Hess shared the role of 'Mamilius'.

Directed by Nicholas Hytner, with designs by Ashley Martin-Davis, costumes by Jon Morrell, lighting by Rick Fisher,music by Simon Webb and Phil Daniels, and sound by Paul Groothuis.


2002: London Revival at the Roundhouse (RSC)

Previewed 28 March 2002, Opened 12 April 2002, Closed 19 June 2002 (in repertory) at the Roundhouse

The cast featured Douglas Hodge as 'Leontes', Anastasia Hille as 'Hermione', Lauren Ward as 'Perdita', Alan Turkington as 'Florizel'/'Second Officer', Rolf Saxon as 'Polixenes', Brian Protheroe as 'Camillo', Myra Lucretia Taylor as 'Paulina', Jude Akuwudike as 'Antigonus', Felix Dexter as 'Autolycus', Dan Crute as 'Third Officer', Dylan Charles as 'Young Shepherd', Fiona Lait as 'Nurse', Gracy G Goldman as 'Dion'/'Dorcas', James Gamon as 'Lord from Bohemia'/'Pilot'/'Yokel', James Hyland as 'First Officer', James Staddon as 'Priest', James Telfer as 'Gaoler', Jami Quarrell as 'Justice', Keith Bartlett as 'Old Shepherd', Kurtis O'Brian or Robin Lowe as 'Cleomenes', Olwen May as 'Emilia', and Sirine Saba as 'Lady Guest'/'Mopsa'. Toby Parkes and Jacob Parsons share the role of 'Mamillius'.

Directed by Matthew Warchus, with choreography by Quinny Sacks, designs by Vicky Mortimer, illusions by Paul Kieve, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, music by Gary Yershon, and sound by Mic Pool.

Presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company.


2005: London Revival at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Previewed 4 June 2005, Opened l5 June 2005, Closed 1 October 2005 (in repertory) at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

The cast featured Paul Jesson as 'Leontes', Yolanda Vazquez as 'Hermione', Juliet Rylance as 'Perdita', David Sturzaker as 'Florizel', Peter Forbes as 'Polixenes', Philip Bird as 'Camillo', Penelope Beaumont as 'Paulina', Edward Peel as 'Antigonus'/'Third Gentleman', Colin Hurley as 'Autolychus', Hayley Jane Standing as 'Dorcas'/'Emilia'/'Gentleman', Liana Weafer as 'Mopsa/Mamillius', Roger McKern as 'Dion'/'Time'/'Second Gentleman', Roger Watkins as 'Old Shepherd', Sam Alexander as 'Young Shephard'/'Officer', and Thomas Padden as 'Cleomenes'/'First Gentleman'/'Mariner'/'Servant'.

Directed by John Dove, with movement by Glynn MacDonald, choreography by Sian Williams, designs by Jenny Tiramani, and music by William Lyons and Claire van Kampen.


2009: West End Revival at the Old Vic Theatre (The Bridge Project)

Previewed 29 May 2009, Opened 9 June 2009, Closed 15 August 2009 (in repertory) at the Old Vic Theatre

A major revival of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale in London starring Ethan Hawke

The disintegrating royal friendships and inklings of adultery of The Winter's Tale make up the second part of a double-bill with Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, presented together in repertory as part of The Bridge Project - an unprecedented three-year, transatlantic partnership uniting The Old Vic Theatre in London with The Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, and Neal Street Productions. The cast are appearing with the permission of American Equity and UK Equity.

The cast featured Simon Russell Beale as 'Leontes', Rebecca Hall as 'Hermione', Morven Christie as 'Perdita'/'Mamillius', Michael Braun as 'Florizel'/'Dion', Josh Hamilton as 'Polixenes', Paul Jesson as 'Camillo', Sinead Cusack as 'Paulina', Dakin Matthews as 'Antigonus', Ethan Hawke as 'Autolycus', Aaron Krohn as 'Servant of Sicilia'/'Servant of Bohemia', Charlotte Parry as 'Lady-in-Waiting'/'Mopsa', Gary Powell as 'Cleomenes'/'Jailer'/'Bear', Hannah Stokely as 'Emilia', Jessica Pollart Smith as 'Dorcas', Mark Nelson as 'Lord of Sicilia'/'Mariner', Richard Easton as 'Old Shepherd'/'Time', and Tobias Segal as 'Young Shepherd'.

Directed by Sam Mendes, with choreography by Josh Prince, sets by Anthony Ward, costumes by Catherine Zuber., lighting by Paul Pyant, music by Mark Bennett, and sound by Paul Ardltti.

"I have always had a problem with The Winter's Tale, partly because we are expected to forgive the monstrous actions of the King Leontes towards his faithful wife Hermione and baby. Simon Russell Beale makes this issue less pronounced, investing this delusional king with so much feverish mental instability, coupled with such a delicate handling of his infant child, as to render his character almost sympathetic. Rebecca Hall is a picture of tenderness, defiance and stoicism as Hermione and imbues the great final scene with a moving dignity. She manages to promise redemptive hope while her last lingering look at Leontes suggests her forgiveness may not be absolute. The potential problem of jarring accents is neatly extinguished here; the inhabitants of Shakespeare's Sicily are British and those of Bohemia are American." The Daily Express

"It's the trickier Winter's Tale that proves the better production. Sam Mendes revels in rather than smoothes over the play's awkward clash between pastoral fancy and psychological realism, vividly casting Bohemia as a country and western fair dominated by Ethan Hawke's fabulously piratical Autolycus, and boasting an amusingly obscene barn dance. By contrast the bookending candle-lit Sicilia scenes are achingly sober studies in the irrational nature of love, in which Simon Russell Beale's Leontes is pitched into ruinous internal exile after imprisoning Rebecca Hall's flighty, sensual Hermione in a fit of insane jealousy. Their eventual reunion is bruisingly ambiguous and astonishingly moving." The London Metro

"While Simon Russell Beale gives a mighty and eloquent performance as the madly jealous Leontes, Josh Hamilton's unintelligible Polixenes is a charmless blank but for his expressive fingers, which trace with dreamy intimacy those of a very pregnant Hermione as the two loll on cushions on the floor. No wonder Leontes is paranoid. As the wronged Hermione, Rebecca Hall is too sloppy and modern at first, but grows much more queenly, dignified and moving with each harrowing humiliation. In the Bohemian pastoral of the second half, Ethan Hawke plays the ballad-seller and pickpocket Autolycus as a country and western dude, a crude cross between Jack Nicholson and Bob Dylan. He's amusing until he becomes wearing. Still, there are magic moments in this production: the first when the Oracle announcing the truth about Hermione is a feather quill with a life of its own; and the second when the 'sculpture' of Hermione begins to move and refuses to take the outstretched hand of the chastened and astonished Leontes." The Mail on Sunday

The Winter's Tale in London at the Old Vic Theatre previewed from 29 May 2009, opened on 9 June 2009, and closed on 15 August 2009.


2010: London Revival at the Roundhouse (RSC)

Previewed 14 December 2010, Opened 16 December 2010, Closed 1 January 2011 (in repertory) at the Roundhouse

The cast featured Greg Hicks as 'Leontes', Kelly Hunter as 'Hermione', Samantha Young as 'Perdita', Tunji Kasim as 'Florizel', Darrell D'Silva as 'Polixenes', John Mackay as 'Camillo', Noma Dumezweni as 'Paulina', James Gale as 'Antigonus', Brian Doherty as 'Autolycus', Adam Burton as 'Sicilian Lord', David Rubin as 'Sicilian Lord', Gruffudd Glyn as 'Young Shepherd', Hannah Young as 'Emilia', Joseph Arkley as 'Archidamus'/'Officer', Kirsty Woodward as 'Lady'/'Mopsa', Larrington Walker as 'Old Shepherd', Oliver Ryan as 'Servant', Patrick Romer as 'Servant'/'Mariner'/'Time', Paul Hamilton as 'Servant', Phillip Edgerley as 'Cleomenes', Sam Troughton as 'Dion'/'Paulina's Steward', and Simone Saunders as 'Lady'/'Dorcas'. Alfie Jones and Sebastian Salisbury shared the role of 'Mamillius'.

Directed by David Farr, with choreography by Arthur Pita, designs by Jon Bausor, lighting by Jon Clark, music by Keith Clouston, and sound by Martin Slavin.

Presented by the The Royal Shakespeare Company.


2012: London Revival at the Shakespeare'e Globe Theatre (Yoruba)

Thursday 24 and Friday 25 May 2012 at the Shakespeare'e Globe Theatre

Performed in Yoruba, in a translation by Tade Ipadeola.

The cast featured Olawale Adebayo as 'Leontes', Kehinde Bankole as 'Hermoine', Oluwatoyin Alli-Hakeem as 'Perdita', Olarotimi Fakunle as 'Polixenes', Olasunkanmi Adebayo as 'Camillo', Idiat Abisola Sobande as 'Paulina', Adekunle Smart Adejumo as 'Antigonus'/'Autolycus', Adisa Moruf Adeyemi as 'Lord'/'Clown'/'Hooligan', Amos Oluronbi Olutokun as 'Old Shepherd', Anike Alli-Hakeem as 'Emilia'/'Mopsa'/'Dorcas', Joshua Ademola Alabi as 'Mamilus'/'Guard'/'Florizel', Motunrayo Orobiyi as 'Time' and Taiwo 'Keleko' Adesoji as 'Hooligan'.

Directed by Oluwole Oguntokun, with designs by Faith Ogbu.

Presented by the Renegade Theatre, Lagos, for two performances - Thursday 24 May afternoon matinee, and Friday 25 May evening - as part of the 2012 Globe-to Globe Season.


2012: London Revival at the Hampstead Theatre (Propeller Theatre Company)

Previewed 3 July 2012, Opened 6 July 2012, Closed 21 July 2012 (in repertory) at the Hampstead Theatre

Adapted by Edward Hall and Roger Warren.

The cast featured Robert Hands as 'Leontes', Richard Dempsey as 'Hermione'/'Dorcas', Finn Hanlon as 'Florizel'/'Mariner', Nicholas Asbury as 'Polixenes', Chris Myles as 'Camillo', Vince Leigh as 'Paulina', Dugald Bruce-Lockhart as 'Antigonus', Tony Bell as 'Autolycus'/'Officer', Ben Allen as 'Mamillius'/'Time'/'Perdita', Dominic Thorburn as 'First Lord', Gary Shelford as 'First Lady', Gunnar Cauthery as 'Emilia'/'Mopsa', John Dougall as 'Dion'/'Old Shepherd', and Karl Davies as 'Young Shepherd'.

Directed by Edward Hall, with designs by Michael Pavelka, lighting by Ben Ormerod, and sound by David Gregory.

Presented by the 'all-male' Propeller Theatre Company, and performed in repertory with William Shakespeare's Henry V.


2013: London Revival at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre ("reimagined")

Opened 29 June 2013 (no previews), Closed 20 July 2013 at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Adaptation "reimagined for everyone aged six and over" by Ria Parry.

The cast featured Guy Burgessas 'Leontes'/'Shepherd', Sirine Saba as Hermione'/'Autolycus', Kezrena James as 'Perdita'/'Dion'/'Emilia', Lewis Goody as 'Florizel'/'Antigonus', Dean Nolan as 'Polixenes'/'Cleomenes', and Alexandra Maher as Paulina'/'Camillo'.

Directed by Ria Parry, with choreography by Katy Pearce, sets by Max Jones, costumes by Tom Piper, music by Dave Price, and sound by Avgoustos Psillas.

Presented under the title The Winter's Tale Re-imagined for children aged six and over, and performed on selected mornings and afternoon.


2015: West End Revival at the Garrick Theatre (Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company)

Previewed 17 October 2015, Opened 7 November 2015, Closed 16 January 2016 at the Garrick Theatre in London

A major revival of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale in London starring Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh

Presented in a 'reimagined' version by co-directors Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh. Performed in repertory with Terrance Rattigan's Harlequinade.

The cast featured Kenneth Branagh as 'Leontes', Miranda Raison as 'Hermione', Jessie Buckley as 'Perdita', Tom Bateman as 'Florizel', Hadley Fraser as 'Polixenes', John Shrapnel as 'Camillo', Judi Dench as 'Paulina', Michael Pennington as 'Antigonus', John Dagleish as 'Autolycus', Adam Garcia as 'Amadis', Ansu Kabia as 'Cleomenes', Jack Colgrave Hirst as 'Clown', Jaygann Ayeh as 'Archidamus'/'The Old Shepherd's Servant', Jimmy Yuill as 'The Shepherd', Kathryn Wilder as 'Mopsa', Matthew Hawksley as 'Aegeum', Michael Rouse as 'Jailer'/'Mariner', Pip Jordan as 'Shepherdess', Stuart Neal as 'Dion', Taylor James as 'Capnio', Vera Chok as 'Dorcas'/'First Lady', and Zoe Rainey as 'Emilia'. Pierre Atri and Rudi Goodman shared the role of 'Mamillius'.

Directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, with designs by Christopher Oram, projections by Jon Driscoll, lighting by Neil Austin, music by Patrick Doyle, and sound by Christopher Shutt.

When this production opened here at the Garrick Theatre in November 2015, Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph hailed this production as being a "sizzling hot-ticket," explaining that "Kenneth Branagh takes the lead as the jealousy-seized Leontes alongside the great (Dame Judi Dench), the good (Miranda Raison) and the more than promising (Jekyll and Hyde star Tom Bateman)... All the old virtues of Branagh are present and exhilaratingly correct – the clarity, intelligence, tight-lipped control too – but what we’re getting now in his middle-age (he’s 54)... is a richer, deeper capacity for vice and darkness: the ordinary man thrust into monstrous, terrifying motion." Paul Taylor in the Independent praised it as being a "sublime production" in which "Kenneth Branagh gives an extraordinarily searching portrayal of Leontes." Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail highlighted that "Dame Judi is the making of the show." Michael Billington in the Guardian explained that "Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench are surrounded by a first-rate team. Miranda Raison lends the wronged and persecuted Hermione a shining self-belief, Michael Pennington brings a lifetime’s Shakespearean experience to the role of the bear-pursued Antigonus and John Dagleish is a suitably nimble-fingered Autolycus. You go to see the stars and, in the words of a Sondheim song, in comes company." Neil Norman in the Daily Express wrote "it doesn’t get much better than this. Two Shakespeare superstars on the same stage in one of the Bard’s most extraordinary plays and a support cast to die for. Sir Kenneth Branagh proves once again that when it comes to engaging with the world’s greatest playwright there is no one to touch him... Dame Judi Dench is nothing less than a marvel... Don’t miss." Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times decribed it as being a "handsome, but curiously mixed production." Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard said it is "a well-spoken, elegant account of one of Shakespeare’s tragicomic late romances... Kenneth Branagh shares directorial duties with Rob Ashford, and their production emphasises the almost magical powers of Hermione’s friend Paulina, who orchestrates the play’s crucial act of redemption." Ann Treneman in the Times commented that "you would think that, of all people, Kenneth Branagh would not mess up Shakespeare. You would be wrong... Branagh’s performance is mystifyingly OTT... The star of the show, without question, is Dench, who is effortless to watch. She alone appears to be natural, nuanced, sane, holding the stage whenever she’s on it, which isn’t enough."

Dame Judi Dench has appeared in numerous productions in London's West End including, most recently, John Logan's new play Peter and Alice (2013), Yukio Mishima's play Madame de Sade (2009), Noel Coward's comedy Hayfever (2006) and William Shakepeare's All's Well That Ends Well (2004). Kenneth Branagh has most recently appeared on the West End stage in Michael Grandage's staging of Tom Stoppard's new English translation of Anton Chekhov's Ivanov at the Wyndham's Theatre in 2008. His directing credits include William Shakespeare's Hamlet starring Jude Law in the title role (2009) and Hamish McColl and Sean Foley's Ducktastic! (2005).

"Kenneth Branagh's first production, superbly co-directed by him and Rob Ashford, is Shakespeare’s late romance, The Winter’s Tale, about redemption and regeneration and the miracle that is a second chance. And it reunites him – thrillingly – with Judi Dench... This is an exceptionally well-spoken production, but a luminous Judi Dench gives one of her most moving Shakespearean masterclasses... Jessie Buckley’s golden Perdita glows with health and happiness; John Dagleish is a Fagin-like cutpurse Autolycus; and the breathtaking, heart-wrenching statue scene plays out as it should, like a miracle." The Mail on Sunday

"As you would expect, Kenneth Branagh unwraps the first play of his year-long commercial residency in the West End with a flourish. The actor-manager's slightly too gorgeous and glossy Christmas hamper of a Winter's Tale, co-directed by Rob Ashford, delivers the goods in the end, though you're not always sure that it will. It can be like having glitter thrown in your eyes, and there are scenes during which you wonder whether it's all sumptuous packaging concealing an unsophisticated pud... The real gift of the evening is a pair of wondrous performances by Judi Dench, aged 80, doubling up as the noblewoman Paulina and Time itself... but this Winter's Tale isn't intolerably stirring. You can't quite go doolally for it." The Sunday Times

"Dame Judi Dench... is utterly magnificent; her unique moral authority put to brilliant effect as, even sotto voce, she silences every other actor on stage... Together with his co-director Rob Ashford and designer Christopher Oram, Sir Kenneth Branagh presents a warmhearted, visually arresting and intellectually coherent account of a notoriously fragmented play. Branagh himself plays Leontes and is excellent in the first acts, his jealousy more reflective than usual, but disappointingly actorly during the climactic reunion. Miranda Raison and Jessie Buckley excel as Hermione and Perdita and, in a uniformly splendid cast, Jimmy Yuill and Jack Colgrave Hirst stand out as the two shepherds." The Sunday Express

The Winter's Tale in London at the Garrick Theatre previewed from 17 October 2015, opened on 7 November 2015, and closed on 16 January 2016 (in repertory)


2016: London Revival at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Previewed 28 January 2016, Opened 4 February 2016, Closed 22 April 2016 (in repertory) at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at the Shakespeare's Globe

The cast featured John Light as 'Leontes', Rachael Stirling as 'Hermione', Tia Bannon as 'Perdita', Steffan Donnelly as 'Florizel', Simon Armstrong as 'Polixenes', Fergal McElherron as 'Camillo', Niamh Cusack as 'Paulina', David Yelland as 'Antigonus', James Garnon as 'Autolycus', Daniel Rabin as 'Lord'/'First Gentleman', Dennis Herdman as 'Clown', Jessica Baglow as 'Mopsa'/'Emilia', Kirsty Woodward as 'Dorcas', Ryan McKen as 'Third Gentleman'/'Dion', Sam Cox as 'Old Shepherd', and Tom Kanji as 'Cleomenes'.

Directed by Michael Longhurst, with choreography by Fleur Darkin, designs by Richard Kent, and music by Simon Slater.


2017: London Revival at the Barbican Theatre (Cheek by Jowl)

Previewed 5 April 2017, Opened 6 April 2017, Closed 22 April 2017 at the Barbican Theatre

The cast featured Orlando James as 'Leontes', Natalie Radmall-Quirke as 'Hermione'/'Dorcas', Eleanor McLoughlin as 'Perditta', Sam Woolf as 'Florizel', Edward Sayer as 'Polixenes', David Carr as 'Camillo', Joy Richardson as 'Paulina'/'Mopsa', Peter Moreton as 'Antigonus'/'Old Shepherd', Ryan Donaldson as 'Autolycus', Grace Andrews as 'Emilia'/'Time', Guy Hughes as 'Dion', Joseph Black as 'Cleomenes', San McArdle as 'Young Shepherd', and Tom Cawte as 'Mamillius'.

Directed by Declan Donnellan, with movement by Jane Gibson, designs by Nick Ormerod, lighting by Judith Greenwood, and music and sound by Paddy Cunneen.

Presented by Cheek by Jowl.


2018: London Revival at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Previewed 22 June 2018 Opened 27 June 2018, Closed 14 October 2018 (in repertory) at the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

The cast featured Will Keen as 'Leontes', Priyanga Burford as 'Hermione', Norah Lopez-Holden as 'Perdita', Luke MacGregor as 'Florizel', Oliver Ryan as 'Polixenes', Adrian Bower as 'Camillo', Sirine Saba as 'Paulina', Howard Ward as 'Antigonus', Becci Gemmell as 'Autolycus', Annette Badland as 'Old Shepherd', Jordan Metcalfe as 'Young Shepherd', Rose Wardlaw as 'Mamillius'/'Time', and Zora Bishop as 'Emilia'.

Directed by Blanche McIntyre, with designs by James Perkins, and music by Stephen Warbeck.