the winter's tale learning pack

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The Winter's Tale Learning Pack Contents About This Pack ................................................................1 Background Information ..................................................2 Teaching Information ........................................................3 Adaptation Details & Plot Synopsis..................................5 Find Out More...................................................................10

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The Winter's Tale − Learning PackContents

About This Pack ................................................................1

Background Information ..................................................2

Teaching Information ........................................................3

Adaptation Details & Plot Synopsis..................................5

Find Out More...................................................................10

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This learning pack supports the National Theatre’s schools’ production of The Winter’s Tale, directed by Justin Audibert, which opened on 14th February 2018 at the National’s Dorfman Theatre in London.

Our packs are designed to support viewing the recording on the National Theatre Collection. This pack provides links to the UK school curriculum and other productions in the Collection. It also has a plot synopsis with timecodes to allow you to jump to specific sections of the play.

The Winter's Tale − Learning Pack

About

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Cast

Polixenes....................................................Adrian RichardsLeontes .............................................Nana Amoo-GottfriedHermione ............................................... Tamara CamachoPerdita ............................................................Gabby WongCamilla ........................................................ Shazia NichollsAntigonus....................................................Johndeep MoreThe Officer ................................................. Kenton ThomasPaulina ............................................... Stephanie Levi-JohnYoung Shepherd .....................................Tamara CamachoMaxillius ..........................................................Gabby Wong

All other characters are played by members of the Company

The Winter's Tale − Learning Pack

Background InformationRecording Date – 26th February, 2018 Location – Dorfman Theatre, National Theatre Age Recommendation – 8+

Creative Team

Director / Adaptor ......................................Justin AudibertPlaywright ..........................................William Shakespeare

Old Shepherd .............................................Johndeep MoreFlorizel ........................................................Kenton Thomas

Designer ............................................................ Lucy SierraComposer and Music Director ............... Jonathan GirlingLighting Designer ...............................................Paul KnottPuppet Designer.............................................Samuel WyerSound Designer ............................................. Mike WinshipMovement Director .................................. Lucy Cullingford

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This production is particularly suitable for:

• Teachers wishing to give primary pupils a first experienceof Shakespeare.

• Students studying the play in Drama or English atsecondary level

• Anyone with an interest in theatre for younger audiences.

In particular you might like to explore:

The Winter's Tale − Learning Pack

Teaching Information

• How the play has been adapted for a cast of eight actors, to beperformed in the round.

• The puppetry used in the production to represent the role ofMamillius.

• The costume design in the production and how this helpsdistinguish different characters.

• The use of music in the production.

There are a number of other productions in the National Theatre Collection that relate to this one, which you and your students may wish to explore alongside it.

Other productions featuring members of the same creative team

Production Date Artist

Macbeth 2017 Justin Audibert - Director

Macbeth 2017 Lucy Sierra - Designer

Macbeth 2017

Romeo and Juliet

Paul Knott - Lighting Designer

2017 Lucy Sierra - Designer

Romeo and Juliet 2017 Paul Knott - Lighting Designer

Macbeth 2017 Jonathan Girling - Composer

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Other productions suitable for primary school students

Production Date Writer / Adaptor

Treasure Island 2014 Bryony Lavery

Peter Pan 2016 Sally Cookson andThe Company

Other productions by William Shakespeare

Production Date Director

Coriolanus 2014 Josie Rourke

Hamlet 2010 Nicholas Hytner

Julius Caesar 2018 Nicholas Hytner

King Lear 2011 Michael Grandage

Macbeth (Schools) 2017 Justin Audibert

Twelfth Night 2017 Simon Godwin

Romeo and Juliet (Schools) 2018 Bijan Sheibani

Othello 2013 Nicholas Hytner

Director

Polly Findlay

Sally Cookson

Romeo and Juliet 2017 William Shakespeare Ben Power

Bijan Sheibani

The Winter's Tale − Learning Pack

Teaching Information

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Differences to Shakespeare’s original*

Justin Audibert’s adaptation condenses The Winter’s Tale to just over an hour while cutting very little from the story and adding songs and dance. This involved an economic re-writing of most scenes and cutting certain characters.

• Perdita also acts as a narrator in this version. She introduces theplay and describes elements of the plot at various stages.

• The sequence of Leontes sending servants to consult the oracle ofApollo is cut.

• Various Lords and Ladies are also cut, along with the followingcharacters: Emilia, Dion, Cleomenes, the Gaoler, the Mariner,Mopsa and Dorcas.

• The character of Time is cut, along with the speech from Act IV,Scene i. The company perform a song instead.

• The thieving jester Autolycus is cut.• The character of Camillo (Camilla) is a woman in this version.• Mamillius is performed with a puppet in this version.• The plot of the final act is streamlined: Polixenes is aware of

Perdita’s heritage before arriving in Sicilia.• Jeener, the naughty sheep, is an addition to the story.

*Using Arden Shakespeare Third Series edition of The Winter's Tale

The Act and Scene in brackets indicate where the scene comes in Shakespeare’s original play.

Prologue: Perdita introduces herself through song. She then introduces the story: the King of Bohemia, Polixenes, has been staying nine months with the King and Queen of Sicilia: his brother Leontes, his brother’s wife Hermione, leaving his son Florizel behind. Leontes and Hermione have a young son, Mamilius, and she is heavily pregnant with a second child, who will be Perdita.

The Winter's Tale − Learning Pack

Adaptation Details & Plot Synopsis

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Scene 1 (Act I, Scene ii) 0:01:55: Leontes tries to persuade Polixenes to extend his visit, but he insists he must return to Bohemia. Leontes then asks Queen Hermione to convince him. When she easily changes his mind, Leontes suspects that they are secret lovers. He talks with Camilla, and orders her to poison Polixenes. Camilla reluctantly agrees, but instead informs Polixenes and they escape together for Bohemia.

Scene 2 (Act II, Scene i) 0:13:28: Leontes interrupts Herminoe singing to Mamillius to formally accuse her of adultery and treason declaring that she is currently pregnant with Polixenes' child. She and Antigonus defend her, but Leontes sends her to prison.

Scene 3 (Act II, Scene iii) 0:18:40: Hermione has given birth. When Paulina brings the baby to Leontes, he is enraged. He sends her away and orders the baby killed. Antigonus pleads for the infant's life, and Leontes tells him to take the child and abandon it in some wilderness,

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Adaptation Details & Plot Synopsis

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where it may or may not survive. Antigonus leaves with the baby.

Scene 4 (Act III, Scene ii) 0:25:00: Hermione is brought to trial for adultery; she again defends herself. Word then arrives of Mamillius’ sudden death from despair at his mother's fate. Leontes interprets this event as indication of his mistake and he repents, but Hermione faints. Paulina returns and reports Hermione's death. She excoriates Leontes, and he accepts her criticisms as entirely just.

The narrator Perdita sings to her dead brother Mamillius.

Scene 5 (Act III, Scene iii) 0:35:05: Antigonus has sailed to Bohemia with Perdita in a basket. He is attacked and driven away by a bear, but a Shepherd finds the infant. He is joined by his daughter, the Clown, who saw Antigonus being eaten by the bear. They discover that Perdita is wrapped in rich fabrics, which contain a supply of gold.

The Winter's Tale − Learning Pack

Adaptation Details & Plot Synopsis

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Scene 6 (Act IV, Scene i) 0:40:10: 16 years passes and the set transforms from Sicilia to Bohemia.

Scene 7 (Act IV, Scene ii) 0:42:59: Camilla informs Plixenes that his son Florizel has become smitten with a highly intelligent shepherd’s daughter. Polixenes enlists Camilla's help in preventing Florizel from embarrassing the monarchy by marrying a low-status girl.

Scenes 8 (Act IV, Scene iv) 0:43:53: Perdita reveals her uneasiness at being courted by Florizel, for she knows that his father, the king, will oppose the match. The Shepherd and the Clown arrive for the festival, along with a group including the disguised King Polixenes and Camillo. They dance.

The Winter's Tale − Learning Pack

Adaptation Details & Plot Synopsis

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Florizel declares his love for Perdita to the disguised royals and the Shepherd agrees to marry them. Polixenes reveals himself and demands that Florizel renounce Perdita. Threatening her and the Shepherd with death if she sees the prince again he departs in a rage. The frightened Shepherd flees, and Perdita is in despair, but Florizel declares that he will not leave her. Camilla proposes that the couple should go to Sicilia, where they will be welcomed as emissaries of King Polixenes.

Scene 9 (Act IV, Scene iv cont.) 0:56:52: As Perdita and Florizel leave for Sicilia the Shepherd and Clown reveal to Camilla that Perdita is not actually their relative, but a foundling. They have proof in the rich fabrics Perdita was found in. Camilla goes to inform Polixenes.

Scene 10 (Act V, Scene i) 0:58:11: In Sicilia, Polixenes gives Florizel and Perdita his blessing and Camilla, Polixenes, Perdita and Leontes are happily reunited.

Scene 11 (Act V, Scene iii) 1:00:55: Leontes, Polixenes, Florizel, Perdita, Camilla and Paulina all gather around a sculpture to the late Hermione. They marvel at its lifelike qualities, and Leontes rues his past judgement and cruel treatment of Hermione. Paulina asserts that she can make them marvel further; she tells the statue to move. They sing, and the statue comes to life. Hermione is reunited with Perdita, and Florizel and Perdita are married.

The End

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Adaptation Details & Plot Synopsis

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Watch

Our general Shakespeare content:

Shakespeare at the NT: The 21st Century

Shakespeare at the NT: Writer for Today

Performing Shakespeare

The Winter's Tale − Learning Pack

Find out more

This series of videos introduces a younger audience to some of the fundamental roles in the theatre, to help them understand the different people who work together to bring a play to life.

What is an Actor?

What is a Director?

What is a Designer?

What is a Composer?

What is a Playwright?

Our videos on puppetry:

How to Make a Puppet

Gyre & Gimble Masterclass: Bringing a Puppet to Life

Gyre & Gimble Masterclass: Storytelling with Puppets

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Explore

The National Theatre’s digital exhibitions on Google Arts & Culture, including Shakespeare at the National Theatre.

More materials relating to the production including the costume bible, poster, prompt scripts, programme, stage management reports and more are held at the National Theatre Archive, which is free to visit. Find out more here: https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/archive

The Winter's Tale − Learning Pack

Find out more