“The Winter’s Tale” for Perth Stage

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“The Winter’s Tale” for Perth Stage


Antigonus, Apollo’s Temple, Bohemia, Camillo, costume, drama, Emilia, Florizel, head dress, head-dress, headdress, Hermione, jealousy, John Alden (1908-1962), John Alden Shakespearean Company, Leontes, Mamillius, medieval costume, medieval dress, oracle, Pauline, Perdita, performance, Perth, Polixenes, Shakespeare, shepherd, shepherdess, shoes, Sicilia, sleeves, stage, theatre, The Winter’s Tale, WA, Western Australia, William Shakespeare (1564-1616)


In this article from The West Australian in 1952, notice of the upcoming stage production of Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” by the John Alden Shakespearean Company is given. The medieval costumes - including elaborate head-dresses, pointed shoes and draped sleeves - would be particularly appealing to Perth audiences, the article suggests, because they were such a marked change from the plays usually performed on the Perth stage.

About The Winter’s Tale:

In “The Winter’s Tale”, Leontes, the King of Sicilia, becomes consumed with jealousy that Hermione, his wife, is having an affair with the King of Bohemia (Polixenes). He instructs his councillor Camillo to poison Polixenes, but instead Camillo reveals Leontes’ plans and both he and Polixenes secretly leave for Bohemia. The pregnant Hermione is banished to prison, where she gives birth to a daughter. Refusing to believe the legitimacy of the child, Leontes demands that the child be burned alive and then, upon the protestations of his chief adviser Antigonus, abandoned off the coast of Bohemia. In the events that unfold over the following Act, Leontes refuses to believe an oracle from Apollo’s Temple exonerating Hermione’s and orders her trial to proceed, his son Mamillius dies, Hermione dies, Leontes realises his mistake and repents, Antigonus is killed by a bear and a shepherd finds the abandoned baby and takes her home. Sixteen years later, in Bohemia, the story recommences with Polixenes expressing concern that his son Florizel has fallen in love with a shepherdess. He attends a sheep-shearing festival in disguise, revealing himself at the last moment to prevent the betrothal of the couple, after which Florizel and the shepherdess are advised by Camillo (now Polixenes’ chief adviser) to flee to Sicilia. When Polixenes also arrives in Sicilia with the shepherd and his son, the shepherdess’ identity as Leontes’ lost child is discovered and her marriage to Florizel condoned, Leontes and Polixenes are friends once more, and a statue of Hermione comes to life, revealing that she is alive and has been waiting to be reunited with her daughter.

For a copy of the text, see: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2248.




National Library of Australia, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article49052507


The West Australian


13 September 1952, p. 5.


The West Australian


“This is What Women Wore in Bygone Times”, The West Australian, 18 September 1952, p. 7, http://ausmed.arts.uwa.edu.au/items/show/402


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