The Winter’s Tale @ National Theatre*

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tickets and more information:
Booking until: 21st February 2019
Production Photos by: Ellie Kurtzz
Run time: 1hr 10 min straight through.

In a bid to spark an interest in theatre for the younger generation, the National have taken William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and, with the help of writer Justin Audibert, have made the original play more accessible. Although the just over an hour long run time condenses the play, this does allow the core of the story to shine through.

Cast in The Winter's Tale at Stratford Circus Arts Centre (c) Ellie Kurtzz 1I1A2289-C3

I had never seen a production of The Winter’s Tale before so, not only was it, possibly, new for the primary school classes in the audience at the performance, but it was new to me too. The Winter’s Tale is the story of Perdita, who was sent to another town as a baby as a result of her jealous father’s rage resulted in both her mother and brother’s deaths. The play begins on Perdita’s wedding day but takes the audience on a journey while she recounts her story.

Joseph Adelakun as Farmhand in The Winter's Tale at Stratford Circus Arts Centre (c) Ellie Kurtzz 1I1A2249-C3

The ensemble cast is led by a brilliant performance from Aisha Toussaint as Perdita, who really embodies the character and projects a lot of heart into Perdita, without forgetting the hurt her father caused her family. Joseph Adelakun also gives a fantastic performance as Perdita’s father Leontes.

Cast in The Winter's Tale at Stratford Circus Arts Centre (c) Ellie Kurtzz 1Y0A2260-C1

The production directed by Ruth Mary Johnson is bright and uplifting. I’m certain a lot of Shakespeare productions are missing musical numbers, colourful set pieces and a sheep puppet but they can be found in this joyous production. Justin Audibert’s reinvention of The Winter’s Tale combines Shakespeare’s text with a modern tongue to make this a story for today. But don’t worry, the bear does make an appearance.

Until next time,


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