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The Winter’s Tale for young audiences at the National Theatre

Cast in The Winter's Tale rehearsals at the National Theatre.
Cast in The Winter’s Tale rehearsals at the National Theatre (c) Ellie Kurtzz

Following a sold-out run at the Dorfman Theatre in 2018, The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare returns to the National Theatre in February 2019. Adapted by Justin Audibert for primary-age children and directed by Ruth Mary Johnson, this new version is the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for younger audiences.

Perdita is a brave, intelligent and much-loved girl, but something is not quite right in her world. Join her on a journey through magic and mayhem as she uncovers her story – the girl who was once lost and then found.

The cast includes Joseph Adelakun, Ebony Feare, Tom Giles, Terique Jarrett, Christina Modestou, Aisha Toussant, Wreh-Asha Walton and Stanton Wright.

The production is designed by Lucy Sierra with lighting designed by Paul Knott. Music is composed and directed by Jonathan Girling and sound by Mike Winship. Puppetry is designed by Sam Wyer. Movement is by Lucy Cullingford and Maria Clarke.

The Winter’s Tale opens at the National Theatre following a two-week run at Stratford Circus Arts Centre for primary school pupils as part London Borough of Newham’s Every Child a Theatre Goer programme which provides opportunities for children and young people in Newham to see live theatre productions at local and West End theatres. The Winter’s Tale will also tour to primary schools in Greater London in February and March as part of the National Theatre’s commitment to introducing children and young people to theatre, with the production reaching approximately 9,000 primary aged children.

Director Ruth Mary Johnson said, “Making theatre for young audiences is what makes me jump out of bed in the morning. The Winter’s Tale deals with some really difficult family issues, but it is also full to the brim with jollity, magic and mayhem. It is so exciting to be able to share one of Shakespeare’s great stories with young audiences – many of them experiencing theatre for the first time”.

NT Learning has a range of programmes to support primary teachers with theatre-making in their schools and inspire young audiences through creative learning opportunities. Let’s Play provides everything that teachers need to create a brilliant school play and On Demand in Schools is a free streaming video service for teachers at Primary and Secondary schools across the UK. To find out more about these opportunities visit NT Learning.

The National Theatre’s Partner for Learning is Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Schools Touring is supported by: The Mohn Westlake Foundation, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Ingram Trust, Archie Sherman Charitable Trust, Behrens Foundation, Cleopatra Trust, Jill and David Leuw, Mulberry Trust and The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation.

Age guidance: 8 – 12 years, £12 (£8 under-18yrs)

Tickets available from


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