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The Winter's Tale

The world premiere of a new full-length ballet by Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon, based on Shakespeare’s enduring tale of love, loss and reconciliation.

Most recent performance

There are currently no scheduled performances of The Winter's Tale. It was last on stage 10 April—8 May 2014 as part of the Spring 2013/14 season.

The Story

King Leontes, possessed by a mad jealousy, believes his pregnant wife Hermione to be having an affair with his childhood friend King Polixenes.

He orders that the baby, Perdita, be abandoned. Hermione and their young son die of distress and Leontes is overcome with remorse. Perdita is discovered by a shepherd. She grows up and falls in love with Florizel, son of Polixenes. They flee Polixenes, who is consumed with fury at his son’s love for a commoner, and seek shelter with Leontes. Perdita is recognized. Hermione, who did not die but went into hiding, returns and the family is reunited.

Background

Following his charming Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and a series of short ballets including Aeternum and Polyphonia, Christopher Wheeldon presents a new full-length work at Covent Garden. He draws on another much-loved work of English literature: The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare’s late, great romance.

The story follows the destruction of a marriage through consuming jealousy, the abandonment of a child and a seemingly hopeless love. Yet, through remorse and regret – and after a statue comes miraculously to life – the ending is one of forgiveness and reconciliation. Wheeldon continues his highly successful collaboration with designer Bob Crowley and composer Joby Talbot, the team behind Alice, in one of the highlights of The Royal Ballet Season.

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