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The Winters Tale (1932/3)
The Winters Tale Programme Image Leontes, King of Sicilia, tries his wife, Hermione, on suspicion that she has been false to him with Polixenes, King of Bohemia. Maddened by his own imaginings he causes his new born daughter to be exposed in a desert place. The oracle of Apollo declares that Hermione is innocent and that he himself is a jealous tyrant who will die without an heir should he fail to recover the daughter lost. He blasphemes against the oracle and immediately hears of the death of his son, Mamillius, and the apparent death of Hermione. The little daughter is found and cherished by country folk. When she has grown to beautiful and gracious girlhood, Florizel, the son of Polixenes, falls in love with her and seeks to marry her without his father's knowledge. Being discovered by Polixenes he flies with her to Leontes' court, where it is proved that she is the lost princess. The various knots are happily unravelled and the play ends in reconcilliation. Full synopsis or Gallery.

Polixenes: We were as twinned lambs that did frisk i' th' sun, And bleat the one at th' other. What we changed Was innocence for innocence; we knew not The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dreamed That any did.

Polixenes: He makes a July's day short as December, And with his varying childness cures in me Thoughts that would thick my blood.

cast list production credits
Polixenes Alastair Sim


Frank Napier
Perdita Peggy Ashcroft


Camillo Anthony Quayle Theatre The Old Vic
Leontes Malcom Keane Presented by Lilian Bayliss
Clown Roger Livesey Produced by Harcourt Williams
Antigonus George Devine    
Autolycus Geoffrey Wincott    
Hermione Veronica Turleigh

The Winters Tale Cast

Mamillius Nigel Stock
Archidamus Rex Parkin
Interesting facts

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In 1932/33 Alastair started his second season at he The Old Vic where Malcom Kean and Peggy Ashcroft were leading the company.