Bow Street, London WC2E 9DD

The Winter's Tale Poster

The Winter's Tale

Closed June 10, 2016

"a ravishing success"

The Guardian

Why See The Winter's Tale?

Exit, pursued by a bear

Christopher Wheeldon's triumphant 2014 production returns the Royal Opera House this spring for a fresh run. With music from longtime collaborator Joby Talbot, Wheeldon recreates the magic of Shakespeare's tale of love, loss and reconciliation in his signature style. Co-production from The Royal Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada.


A haunting tale of jealousy, betrayal and ultimate redemption, The Winter's Tale follows the fortunes of King Leontes of Sicilia and his childhood friend, the Bohemian king Polixenes. Leontes is possessed by a sudden and paranoid feeling that Polixenes has seduced his wife Hermione, and suspects that her unborn baby isn't his. Consumed by fury, he orders his manservant Camillo to poison Polixenes; instead, he warns the target, and the two flee. Meanwhile, Hermione is thrown into prison under her husband's suspicion of treason.

When the newborn girl finally arrives, Leontes' is still convinced that he isn't her father and orders his daughter to be abandoned to the Fates. Sixteen long years pass and the baby Perdita is raised by a kindly shepherd. Leontes learns from the Delphi Oracle that his wife was innocent and that the baby was his; he mourns his rash actions and tries to make amends for his evil. However in a twist of fate, he is reunited with his long-lost daughter, and finally receives the deliverance he has been looking for.

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Additional Information


Opening night: 12 April 2016

Run time

Two hours and 30 minutes, with one interval


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