This magical story of jealousy, judgement, love and redemption will light up Bard’s BMO Mainstage from June 8 to September 22.
The production is directed by Dean Paul Gibson, who helmed the Festival’s hugely successful A Midsummer Night’s Dream three seasons ago. Gibson, the Festival’s Associate Artistic Director, is a veteran of multiple hit Bard productions, as an actor and director. His new and unique interpretation of Shakespeare’s epic adventure story promises to deliver a powerful live theatre experience, full of wonder and magic.
Set in Sicily and Bohemia, the tale begins with a husband’s irrational jealousy. King Leontes (Kevin MacDonald) believes that his wife, Hermione (Sereana Malani), has been unfaithful to him with his best friend, Polixenes (Ian Butcher). Hermione, who is pregnant, is arrested and taken to prison. She gives birth there, and Leontes orders Lord Antigonus (Andrew Wheeler) to take the baby away from her and leave it in the wilderness to die. Some 16 years later, across the sea, two young people – Prince Florizel (Austin Eckert) and a shepherdess, Perdita (Kaitlin Williams) – fall in love. Their union becomes the catalyst for reunion, redemption and a family’s healing. The play, which begins with a cruel punishment, ends with a miracle. And before the story finishes, audiences will witness a marvellous new take on Shakespeare’s most famous stage direction: “Exit, pursued by a bear”. You can pick up your tickets here.