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The Winter’s Tale

The Winter’s Tale

Written by William Shakespeare
Performed in English

One of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, The Winter’s Tale, though written at the same period as The Tempest, smashes all the rules that The Tempest follows. Unity of time, place and action are hurled aside as we range across Europe, from court to country, from high tragedy to low comedy, across a time span of sixteen years.

The Winter’s Tale tells of a delusional and paranoid king who tears his family apart. But this is the new Shakespeare, after he completed his great tragedies, and the tough struggle for redemption yields flickers of hope. Initial darkness gives way to joy as Time leads the characters to a shattering conclusion… 

Produced by Cheek by Jowl in a co-production with the Barbican, London; Les Gémeaux/Sceaux / Scène Nationale; Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg; Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa; Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Centro Dramático Nacional, Madrid (INAEM).

“Deft, disturbing, and entirely absorbing”

The Times
Cast and creative team


Emilia / TimeGrace Andrews
CleomenesJoseph Black
CamilloAbubakar Salim / David Carr
MamilliusTom Cawte
AutolycusRyan Donaldson
Dion & Live Music SupervisorGuy Hughes
LeontesOrlando James
Young ShepherdSam McArdle
PerditaEleanor McLoughlin
Old Shepherd / AntigonusPeter Moreton
Hermione / DorcasNatalie Radmall-Quirke
Paulina / MopsaJoy Richardson
PolixenesEdward Sayer
FlorizelChris Gordon / Sam Woolf

Creative Team

DirectorDeclan Donnellan
DesignerNick Ormerod
Lighting DesignerJudith Greenwood
ComposerPaddy Cunneen
Movement DirectorJane Gibson
Assistant Movement DirectorElizabeth Ballinger
Assistant DirectorMarcus Roche
Casting DirectorSiobhan Bracke
Costume SupervisorAngie Burns
Company ManagerTim Speechley
Technical DirectorSimon Bourne
Technical Stage Manager Robin Turley Smith
Deputy Stage ManagerHarriet Stewart
Assistant Stage ManagerLou Ballard
SoundFred Riding
LightingDavid Salter
Wardrobe ManagerRebecca Rees
Previous performances

Previous Performances

9–10 June 2017Voronezh, International Platonov Festival, Russia
4–6 June 2017Moscow, Chekhov International Theatre Festival, Russia
20 May 2017Palma, Teatre Principal de Palma, Mallorca
5–7 May 2017Athens, The Athens Concert Hall, Megaron, Greece
25–29 April 2017Bristol, Bristol Old Vic, UK
5–22 April 2017London, Barbican, UK
29–30 March 2017Quimper, Théàtre de Cornouaille, France
23 March 2017Mold, Theatr Clwyd, UK
21–25 March 2017Mold, Theatr Clwyd, UK
14–18 March 2017Colchester, Mercury Theatre, UK
7–11 March 2017Coventry, Warwick Arts Centre, UK
28 February–4 March 2017Oxford, Oxford Playhouse, UK
22–25 February 2017Bath, Theatre Royal, Bath, UK
18 February 2017Avilés, Centro Niemeyer, Spain
16 February 2017Bilbao, Teatro Arriaga Antzokia, Spain
12 February 2017Barcelona, Teatre-Auditori Sant Cugat, Spain
9 February 2017Murcia, Teatro Romeo, Spain
31 January–4 February 2017Cambridge, Cambridge Arts Theatre, UK
24–28 January 2017Glasgow, Citizens Theatre, UK
18–19 January 2017Nice, Théàtre National de Nice, France
14–21 December 2016Chicago, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, USA
6–11 December 2016New York City, BAM, USA
1–4 March 2016Lëtzebuerg, Grand Théâtre de la Ville du Luxembourg, Luxembourg
17–21 February 2016Milan, Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Italy
10–14 February 2016Madrid, Teatro María Guerrero (Centro Dramático Nacional), Spain
3–7 February 2016Lille, Theatre du Nord, France
14–31 January 2016Sceaux, Les Gémeaux, Paris, France
Reviews and awards



“Deft, disturbing, and entirely absorbing”

The Times

“Ferocious physicality”

The Independent. Read the full review

“A kiss of life”

Exeunt. Read the full review

“The legendary Cheek by Jowl return with a savage production”

Time Out. Read the full review


“An original masterpiece… a privilege!”

Le Figaro. Read the full review

“A dazzling display of grace and intelligence”

La Croix. Read the full review

“As intoxicating as a summer night”

Les Echos. Read the full review

“A beauty that takes your breath away”

Huffington Post Fr. Read the full review


“Dazzling imagination”

ABC. Read the full review

“A beautiful twilight fantasy”

El Mundo. Read the full review

“All the vast richness of the world dreamed up by Shakespeare shines with blinding splendour in this Winter’s Tale”

El Pais. Read the full review


“As invigorating and intoxicating as a shot of adrenaline: as exciting as theatre can get!”

Luxemburger Wort


“… lifted me right off the ground and I’m still flying!”

Το Τέταρτο Κουδούνι. Read the full review


Els XX Premis de la Crítica de les Arts Escèniques 2018 (Catalonia)

Espectacle internacional (Best international production)
Production photo
Photograph: Johan Persson
Production photo
Photograph: Johan Persson
Production photo
Photograph: Johan Persson

“All the vast richness of the world dreamed up by Shakespeare shines with blinding splendour in this Winter’s Tale”

El Pais

There may be in the cup
A spider steep’d,
and one may drink, depart,
And yet partake no venom

Act II, Scene i

Thou met’st with things dying,
I with things newborn

Act III, Scene iii

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