Live Cinema Season

The Winter's Tale (2014)

Recorded | Ballet

Running time: To be confirmed

The Winter's Tale (2014)

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.


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. His actions tear their families apart.

Hermione’s baby daughter is abandoned and Hermione and their son die of distress. The baby Perdita, rescued by a shepherd, grows up to fall in love with Florizel, son of Polixenes. The young couple is reunited with the remorseful Leontes and Hermione returns from the dead.


Christopher Wheeldon, Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet, created his adaptation of Shakespeare’s late great romance The Winter’s Tale for The Royal Ballet in 2014. Building on the success of Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Winter’s Tale received ecstatic praise at its premiere, acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for its intelligent, distinctive and emotionally powerful story, told through exquisite dance. It is now widely judged to be a modern ballet classic.

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 seemingly miraculous return to life – the ending is one of forgiveness and reconciliation. With powerful designs by Bob Crowley and atmospheric music by Joby Talbot, The Winter’s Tale is a masterful modern narrative ballet.



Christopher Wheeldon


Christopher Wheeldon and Joby Talbot


Joby Talbot


Bob Crowley

Lighting designer

Natasha Katz

Projection designer

Daniel Brodie

Silk effects designer

Basil Twist


David Briskin
Edward Watson
Lauren Cuthbertson
Sarah Lamb
Joe Parker
Zenaida Yanowsky
Bennet Gartside
Federico Bonelli
Steven McRae
Polixenes' Steward
Thomas Whitehead
Father Shepherd
Gary Avis
Brother Clown
Valentino Zucchetti
Young Shepherdess
Beatriz Stix-Brunell
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

The Winter's Tale Digital Programme

The Winter's Tale Digital Programme

Digital Programmes bring together a range of specially selected films, audio clips, pictures, articles, features, news and information, as well as exclusives and updates, and highlights from the Royal Opera House website, YouTube, SoundCloud and Flickr pages. Features are added as the performances approach, to enhance your experience of a production.

Cast sheets

Cast sheets are available as PDFs

News and features

To find out more visit the The Winter's Tale (2014) production page.