I’ve wanted to direct The Winter’s Tale for some time, because it strikes me as the most mature of the problem plays. It’s an adult fairy tale of emotional depth, extreme behavior, and complex relationships. I believe that the play’s well-documented inconsistencies are, in fact, its greatest assets. Where else can you jump across settings and years to arrive at such a striking coup de theatre in the final act?
We’ve set our tale in a stylish, contemporary kingdom. Leontes and Hermione are a young power couple of great promise, and the destruction of their relationship brings a profound sense of personal and civic loss. His flaw is horrible and vicious, but not irreparable. Bohemia, by contrast, exists far away from the court in a world of gypsy caravans, music, and sunflowers. Love regenerates in the romance of Florizel and Perdita, whose return to Sicilia brings reconciliation and rebirth. The story is one of promise lost and hope found.
Change is in the air today. The Winter’s Tale is Shakespeare’s most mature examination of that subject: from loss to hope, from sin to redemption, from one generation to the next.