From Fri 21 October – Sat 5 November 2016, Octagon Theatre Bolton & University of Bolton present 'The Winter’s Tale'.
Octagon Theatre Bolton and the University of Bolton are thrilled to present Shakespeare’s epic play The Winter’s Tale, marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
Families and friendships are torn apart when King Leontes is tormented by a paranoid delusion that his wife, Hermione, is having an affair with his best friend. After throwing Hermione in prison and abandoning their new-born child to the wilderness, the King only then realises their innocence. On discovering the death of his wife, Leontes is inconsolable with grief and regret… is there any hope for redemption?
With song, dance, laughter and one of the most extraordinary climaxes in any of Shakespeare’s play, The Winter’s Tale will be performed by an outstanding cast of 15 actors, all familiar to the Octagon.
In the leading role of the jealous King Leontes is Rob Edwards, who is currently playing Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird at the Octagon. Hermione, the accused wife of Leontes, will be played by Amy Nuttall, who has had many on-screen roles, including Kate in Death in Paradise (Red Planet, 2014), Caitlin Standing in New Tricks (BBC, 2013) and Agnes in The Musketeers (BBC .2013) as well as performing on stage in All My Sons (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, 2014) and Noises Off (Old Vic Theatre, 2011).
Margot Leicester (Charles III, Wyndhams Theatre, 2015; Long Days Journey into Night, Habeas Corpus, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Octagon Theatre Bolton; 100 Great Plays for Women – Rehearsed Reading, National Theatre Studio) plays the role of the formidable Paulina, a loyal friend to Hermione. Manchester Theatre Award winner Barbara Drennan (An Enemy of the People, The Family Way, Noises Off, Octagon Theatre Bolton) will also be back on the Octagon stage as Emilia, Hermione’s lady-in-waiting. Christopher Wright plays the role of Polixenes (The Ladykillers, Oldham Coliseum; The Funfair, HOME; The Hypochondriac, Octagon Theatre Bolton; Death Comes to Pemberley, BBC).
Returning to the Octagon stage as Antigonus is Eric Potts, who played the role of Henry in The Ancient Secret of Youth & the Five Tibetans here at the Octagon. Harry Long (The Secret Garden, An Enemy of the People, The Family Way, Private Lives, Octagon Theatre Bolton; This Land, Salisbury Playhouse; Fatal Attraction, Theatre Royal Haymarket) undertakes the role of Florizel and Leila Mimmack (Debris, Southwark Playhouse; A View from the Bridge, Royal Exchange Theatre; Home Fires, Midwinter of the Spirit, ITV; Silent Witness, BBC) also returns as the young and warm-hearted Perdita. Colin Connor (Two2, Two, The Family Way, Hindle Wakes, A View from the Bridge, Journey’s End, Octagon Theatre Bolton; Jungle Book, West Yorkshire Playhouse; Moving On, LA Productions) takes on the role of the roguish Autolycus, a peddler.
Completing the cast are: Vicky Binns (To Kill a Mockingbird, Alfie, Octagon Theatre Bolton; Singin’ in the Rain, National Tour; The Mill, Channel 4; Crime Stories, ITV); Christian Edwards (Singin’ in the Rain, The Secret Garden, Octagon Theatre Bolton; Holy Mackerel, Eastern Angles Shanty Theatre; Les Miserables, Queen’s Theatre); Trevor Michael Georges (To Kill a Mockingbird, Octagon Theatre Bolton; The Magna Carta Plays, Salisbury Playhouse);
Remmie Milner (#chipshopthemusical, Octagon Theatre Bolton/Emma Hill Writes; Plastic Figurines, National Tour; The Pier, Oxford Playhouse; Whitechapel, ITV; Trollied, SKY); Marc Small (An Enemy of the People, The Family Way, Robin Hood, Tull, Of Mice and Men, Octagon Theatre Bolton); and Philip Starnier (Singin’ in the Rain, To Kill a Mockingbird, Octagon Theatre Bolton).
On the production, director David Thacker says:
'The Winter's Tale is one of my favourite plays and a great challenge for any director. I'm delighted to be working with such an outstanding company of actors and such a talented Creative Team and I can't wait to start rehearsing this beautiful, powerful and profoundly moving play. It's the perfect play to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death for it was the last-but-one play he wrote all by himself - about 5 years before he died. Shakespeare wrote the play soon after his baby grand-daughter Elizabeth was born - the inspiration for the three babies in his late plays. Through the love and grace of these beautiful young girls the terrible mistakes of the older generation are redeemed. It was a play of hope for his time - and for all time.’