Stage Curtains (ATV Photo 2007)Christopher Wheeldon’s latest work for The Royal Ballet is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play The Winter’s Tale.

The Winter’s Tale is the first full length adaptation of a Shakespeare play by The Royal Ballet since Kenneth MacMillan’s 1965 production of Romeo and Juliet. Its creation coincides with the 450th anniversary celebrations of Shakespeare’s birth in 1564 and particularly significant is the performance on the 23rd of April – Shakespeare’s actual birthday.

Opening on Thursday April 10th, the ballet will also be screened live into cinemas around the world on Monday 28th April including more than 400 screens in the UK alone.

The Winter’s Tale is a story of seemingly hopeless love and all-consuming jealousy that contrasts episodes of light and dark, tragedy and comedy.  But it is the forgiveness and reconciliation that provide the memorable climax.

This full Company ballet is led by Principal Dancers Edward Watson and Lauren Cuthbertson as Leontes and Hermione, Steven McRae and Sarah Lamb as Florizel and Perdita and Federico Bonelli and Zenaida Yanowksy as Polixenes and Paulina.  Marianela Nunez and Thiago Soares lead the second cast as Leontes and Hermione.

The Winter’s Tale is a co-production with the National Ballet of Canada with the production running from Thursday 10th April through to Thursday May 8th at the Royal Opera House.

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