28 June – 1 July
THE WINTER’S TALE
by William Shakespeare
The Winter’s Tale is set across 16 years and begins with two friends, Leontes and Polixenes, and Leontes’ pregnant wife, Hermione, celebrating with friends. Leontes’ jealousy and suspicion of the relationship between his wife and his friend causes him to send his wife to trial, causing her to give birth early. Leontes sends his newborn daughter to be killed. However, Antigonus, who was sent to Bohemia to kill the child, gave her mercy and the child, Perdita, is found by a Shepherd and his son and is raised as their own child.
Director Georgie Wood sets the first half of the play (Sicilia) at the end of the war in Britain in Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms and the second half (Bohemia) in 1961, in New York’s Bohemian Greenwich Village.
1- 4 November
INTO THE SILENCE
By Noel Dollimore
Based on the life and times of Sophia Duleep Singh (1876-1948), the play covers nearly 100 years of Anglo-Indian history. Grand-daughter of Ranjit Singh, “The Lion of the Punjab” and a god-daughter of Queen Victoria, Sophia was born and raised in England.
The play opens with Sophia’s father, Duleep Singh, then aged just eleven, signing away the Punjab to the British after the Sikh Wars in in 1849. He is brought to England where Queen Victoria gives him the stately home of Elvedon in Suffolk, where he and his wife mix in the highest social circles and raise a family of six children, of whom Sophia is the youngest.
Sophia joins the Suffragettes and eventually takes over the movement as President following the death of Emmeline Pankhurst in 1928. Although the play does involve serious subject matter, it is lightened by some uproariously comic scenes, and the pace never drops.