The Winter's Tale  
The Winter's Tale

by William Shakespeare

Directed by Emmeline Winterbotham

Evenings at 7.30
Tuesday 22nd - Saturday 26th May
Matinée at 3.00
Saturday 26th May

The Tower Theatre performing at the Bridewell Theatre, off Fleet Street

  • A ruler turned jealous tyrant
  • Families blown apart by death and suspicion
  • The younger generation disinherited

How to tell true from false in a world of trickery and disguise?

Will Forrester as Leontes, Gemma Parkes as Hermione and Jonathan Wober as Polixenes


The Tower Theatre presents The Winter's Tale, Shakespeare's life affirming romance about abuse of power and redeeming love.

King Leontes, suspects his wife Hermione of infidelity with his best friend Polixenes, King of Bohemia. He sets in motion a violent and tragic chain of events which culminate in the abandonment of his new born daughter on a foreign shore.

Fast forward 16 years to Bohemia where Polixenes' son, Prince Florizel, is in love with an intriguing and beautiful shepherdess. Can the power of their youthful passion awaken hope and forgiveness in hearts frozen in perpetual winter?

Photography by David Sprecher



Cast List

SICILIA
Leontes, King of Sicilia : Will Forester
Hermione, his Queen : Gemma Parkes
Mamillius, his son and heir : Emily McCormick


Lords of Sicilia
Camillo : Paul Isaacs
Antigonus : Ian Recordon


Paulina, wife to Antigonus : Samantha Wright
Cleomenes : Eva Khair
Dion : Joe Solomons
Emilia : Annemarie Fearnley
Ladies : Hannah Leonard, Annie O'Brien, Jessie Smith
Servant to Mamillius : Sarah Wenban
Gaoler : Eva Khair


BOHEMIA
Polixenes, King of Bohemia : Jonathan Wober
Florizel, son and heir to Polixenes : Dominic Chambers
Autolycus, a rogue : Richard Scarr
Shepherd : Chris Holmes
His son, a clown : Ben Kynaston
Perdita, his adopted daughter : Emily McCormick
Mopsa : Alice Boorman
Dorcas : Annie O'Brien
Archidamus, a Lord of Bohemia : Richard Scarr


Time : Penny Tuerk


Band : Samantha Wright, Sarah Wenban, Jessie Smith, Joe Solomons, Annie O'Brien

 

Production Team

Director : Emmeline Winterbotham
Set Design : Peter Foster
Composer and Music Director : Vahan Salorian
Choreographer : Rachel Berg
Costume Design : Aloma Barnes and Daheng Liu of The London College of Fashion, Peter Foster
Choreographer for the Bear Sequence and Foley Sound : Ruth Sullivan
Lighting Design : Stephen Ley

Stage Manager : Lauren Turner
ASMs : Hannah Leonard, Jessie Smith
Lighting Operator : Rob Hebblethwaite
Wardrobe Assistance : Sheila Burbidge



This is Will Forester's first role in a Tower Theatre production. Recent theatre includes Van Helsing in Dracula, Gonzalo in The Tempest, Stephen in Necessity, Rodrigo in a touring production of Othello and Mr Fogg in Sweeney Todd.
 
Having recently returned to the UK after two decades abroad, Gemma Parkes is delighted to be making her (off-)West End début as Hermione with the Tower. Previous credits include Maggie Mundy in Dancing at Lughnasa, Nat in Rabbit Hole and Celia in As You Like It with the Geneva English Drama Society; Muriel Wicksteed in Habeas Corpus and Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream with the Rome Savoyards; Sister Laurentia (sic) in Romeo and Juliet and Charmian in Antony and Cleopatra with Brussels Shakespeare Society; Phoebe Rice in The Entertainer, Mrs Drudge in The Real Inspector Hound and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing with Exeter Student Theatre Company; Prince Charming in Sleeping Beauty and Lydia Languish in The Rivals with Bath Drama. Her day job entails running her own PR, voiceover, translation and communications consultancy, @gemissima.

The Winter's Tale is Emily McCormick's first appearance with the Tower Theatre and she couldn't be happier to take part in Shakespeare's tale about death and rebirth. At only 19, she is in the process of auditioning for various Drama Schools throughout the UK. After finishing college, she continued her studies in Musical Theatre on a scholarship at the Emil Dale Academy; during this time at EDA, she played the role of Cosette in Les Miserables. Emily is a member of the Young Court at the Royal Court Theatre; she produced The Andrea Project in January and she performed in Say/Do. She spent a summer at the Globe as part of the Young Actors Programme, where she played Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Sam Wanamaker Theatre. Other roles include Susan Pevensie in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Louisa Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, as well as a rehearsed reading of The Night School. Emily is also an avid writer and focuses on creating theatre to help others understand mental health in young people. In an ever changing wonderful industry, her dream is to one day play Hamlet as Maxine Peake once did.
 
This is Jonathan Wober's seventeenth Tower production since joining in 2009, when he appeared in The Archbishop's Ceiling and Dangerous Corner. He has toured with the Tower to Paris in Julius Caesar and A Midsummer Night's Dream and to the Minack Theatre in Cornwall in David Copperfield and The Return of the Marionettes. Other productions have included The Odd Couple, Jump to Cow Heaven, Tartuffe, The Kitchen Sink, Farewell to the Theatre and Handbagged, in which he played 11 parts. Most recently, in February this year, he played Elwood P Dowd in Harvey.
The Winter's Tale is not only Richard Scarr's first show for the Tower Theatre, but also his first production outside his home county of Cambridgeshire. His previous stage roles have included Oscar Madison in The Odd Couple, Bernard in Don't Dress for Dinner, Andre Thibault in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and the Vicar of St. James in A Fish in her Kettle. However, he is best known locally for his performances in the annual Newton Drama Club pantomime (most recently as Valerin the Vicious in Camelot). Richard also plays bass with East London instrumental combo The Acid Drops, whose debut album is scheduled for release later this year.
 
Paul Isaacs is very happy to be in his third Paris Shakespeare for the Tower, having played Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2012 and Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing last year. Recently he has been involved in Chekhov's Platonov at Theatro Technis with the workshop company Acting Gymnasium, playing a quack doctor with a drinking problem. Prior to that he appeared with the same company as Lord Illingworth in A Woman of No Importance. He's appeared previously with the Tower as Hal in Loot, Alan in The Slab Boys, a demonic aircraft passenger in Terrorism and as a gunpowder plotter in 5/11. Roles with other companies include Oliver in The Pride, Mitchell in The Little Dog Laughed (both SLT), a stint doing theatre in education in Spain, as well as children's theatre in Hansel and Gretel (Colour House Theatre).
Ian Recordon has played a variety of roles with the Tower. This is his fifth Shakespeare production touring to Paris; he has previously played the Duke (Measure for Measure), Malvolio (Twelfth Night), Jacques (As You Like It) and Kent (King Lear).
 
This is Eva Khair's first production with the Tower Theatre. She has been performing for 10 years, starting out in student theatre acting and directing in comedy sketches, musicals and plays from the Shakespeare canon. This was followed by a number of community productions in East Anglia and an acting short course at RADA in 2011. Notable previous acting roles include Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Alcandre in The Illusion, Velma in Chicago and Ivy in the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds' production of We Happy Few in 2012. A health professional, academic and activist, Eva also writes for magazines and the British Council Press and is excited to further explore her passion for theatre and develop her acting and production skills with the Tower. She is delighted to be doing Shakespeare again and hopes you enjoy the show whether in London or Paris (or both)!
After growing up with Garden Suburb Theatre (GST) in North London this is Joe Solomons's first play with the Tower Theatre. Roles with GST have included a munchkin, an Oompa Loompa, Florizel from The Winter's Tale, Louis XIV from Power and Bartley McCormick from The Cripple of Inishmaan. He's enjoyed rehearsals for this play especially because he has an actor musician role and an opportunity to perform some physical theatre (spoiler alert!). Joe hopes this new experience will stand him in good stead for drama school auditions.
 
This is Samantha Wright's fourth production for the Tower Theatre after previously appearing in Mother's Day, Our Town and 1984. She has appeared in KDC's There has possibly been an Incident and at the Lyric Hammersmith and Courtyard Theatres in Starfish and First Light. Samantha has trained with City Lit and Identity School of Acting.
Annemarie Fearnley is delighted to be returning to Shakespeare again after a break of five years, having played Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream in 2012 in both London and Paris. In her numerous years at the Tower, other roles have included Polly Peachum (The Threepenny Opera), Irina (Three Sisters), Eugenie (Vincent in Brixton), Susan (Company), Dick (Dick Whittington), Witch (Macbeth), Anne Vaux (5/11), Dorothy (A Farewell to the Theatre), Ensemble (David Copperfield and Nicholas Nickleby), violinist in Lark Rise, a singer in Telstar and parts in 1984 and sound/foley in Kindertransport. She has also performed with All Star Productions in Assassins at Theatro Technis and with Completely Productions in Company (playing Susan, again!) at The Bull. She is also a founder member of the Tower's home-grown bands, Simply Vocal and The Checkmates.
 
Hannah Leonard is excited to be in her first Tower Theatre production. She is currently studying English at University and hopes to go on to do her MA in acting. She is also currently performing in And Then There Were None with her university's drama society as Mrs Rogers.
Annie O'Brien is really excited to be performing in her second show with the Tower, having been in Nell Gwynn just before Christmas. It is also her second time appearing in a production of The Winter's Tale! Annie also has experience in the production side of things, having Assistant Stage Managed a production of Frankenstein for SEDOS last year. By day, she works at a live events venue in London.
 
This is Jessie Smith's first appearance with the Tower Theatre Company. She has been involved in theatre from an early age and took part in many productions through Durham Student Theatre whilst completing a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Roles include Hedda in Hedda Gabler, Helen Alving in Ghosts and Renfield in Dracula. She is looking forward to her debut performance with the Tower.
Sarah Wenban is making her Tower Theatre debut in The Winter's Tale. After training at the Brockley Rise Centre and the City Lit, her theatre roles included Doll Common in Playhouse Creatures, Florence Boorman in Her Naked Skin and Topcliffe in 5/11 (all at Network Theatre). She most recently portrayed Mam in Say Something Happened for Network Theatre at the Vaults Festival and Maggie in Watertight for The Platform at the Bread and Roses Theatre.
 
Chris Holmes has been a member of the Tower Theatre since the early 1980s and has appeared in over 50 productions. Shakespeare roles have included Duke Frederick in As You Like It,Gonzalo in The Tempest, Capulet in Romeo and Juliet and Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Directing credits include Playboy of the Western World and The Real Thing.
Ben Kynaston has just joined the Tower Theatre Company and this will be his first production. Having been a performer his whole life (without much of an audience) he felt the time was right to try and force one, by riding on the coattails of others more talented.
 
Dominic Chambers has just joined the Tower Theatre and is very excited to be part of The Winter's Tale as his first appearance. He has a strong background in theatre having been involved in over 15 productions, and since graduating from King's College London with a degree in English, he has pursued his passion for film appearing in a number of short films. Previous credits include Jimmy in Look Back in Anger at the Rag Factory, Arturo Ui in The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Questors' Theatre, and Face in The Alchemist Upstairs at The Gatehouse.
This is Alice Boorman's second production with the Tower, having first performed in the bawdy comedy Nell Gwynn in December. She has been part of amateur dramatics since she was a child; however this is her first dalliance back into the arts after having a sabbatical that saw her complete her masters degree in history and work for a year in television production at the BBC. Now working for Warner Bros when she's not on the stage, she spends her working hours coming up with ideas for new TV shows!
 
Penny Tuerk joined the Tower in 1970 and has taken part in nearly eighty productions as an actor or director. Most recently she directed Di and Viv and Rose at Theatro Technis, and appeared as Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes.
Emmeline Winterbotham is delighted to be returning to the Tower Theatre amid nostalgic memories of playing Hermione at the Jardin Shakespeare, with her 11 year old twins, 16 years ago. Past directing roles for the Company include My Mother Said I Never Should and The Misanthrope. More recently her play Baba Shakespeare ran at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston prior to being selected by the RSC to represent London in the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival at Stratford-on-Avon.