Bill Beesley, John Beesley, Catherine Bell, Diana Benn, Peter Bowen-Evans, Patrick Brain, John Clemow, Michael Clemow, Doreen Coates, Irene Froggatt, Alan Fuller, Ned Gethings, Reginald Hamlyn, Leon Hanick, Albert Hooper, Joyce Hornett, John Howard, Harry Ives, Patricia Leventon, Stella Lewis, Peggy Masrshall, Edward Scrivener, Hedley St George Bond, Douglas Thomas, Eric Voce
George Benn, Coya Bisgood, Ann Cheetham, Hilda Collins, Peter Ellis, Peggy Fawcett, Dorothy Fisk, Alvert Gibbs, Mary Hardwick, Gerry Isenthal, Haya J Asseo, Eileen Kemp, Joan Sawkins
This play might be called a near-tragedy — a play which fate turned from tragedy to comedy — the reverse perhaps of what we usually think. Although artificiality is apparent throughout the play, Professor Allardyce Nicol considers it one of Shakespeare's greatest masterpieces. It is an unusual play and not always easy to understand — a classic which was probably written for a more sophisticated and cultured audience than most of Shakespeare's great plays.
Harley Granville-Barker's imaginative production of the play in 1912 will always be recorded with Henry Ainley as Leontes — a production which for verve and tempo opened the audience's eyes to the new possibilities of imaginative Shakespeare production.
This play was one of the last that Shakespeare wrote in Stratford in 1608-1609, and was in the repertoire of the King's Men when they performed at Court in 1610. They appeared 15 times in all and it is interesting to know that they were paid £30 over and above their usual £10 a performance because for six weeks prior to Christmas "infection" had prevented their appearing at the theatres. The play was first played at the Globe in April or May of the following year.