Tara and friends have a tale to tell

The Winter's Tale, starring Tara Fitzgerald
The Winter's Tale, starring Tara Fitzgerald

Tara Fitzgerald will head the cast of The Winter’s Tale when a touring Royal Shakespeare Company production stops off at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal from March 26-30.

Tara Fitzgerald has been making her RSC debut in the role of Hermione in a new production of The Winter’s Tale, directed by Lucy Bailey.

Shakespeare’s tale of jealousy and forgiveness also sees the return of RSC associate artist, Jo Stone-Fewings in the role of Leontes and the RSC debut of Rakie Ayola as Paulina.

The cast also includes RSC alumni Adam Levy (Polixenes), Daniel Betts (Camillo), Gavin Fowler (Florizel), Nick Holder (Young Shepherd), Kieran Knowles (Gaoler), Pearce Quigley (Autolycus) and David Shaw-Parker (Shepherd), alongside Sally Bankes (Dorcas), Andrew Hanratty (Lord), Daniel Millar (Dion), Charlotte Mills (Mopsa) Emma Noakes (Perdita), Joseph Pitcher (Cleomenes), Phil Snowden (Mariner), Bethan Walker (Emilia), Ben Whybrow (Lord) and Duncan Wisbey (Antigonus).

Music for the production is composed by Jon Boden, lead singer and founder member of contemporary folk band, Bellowhead.

Tara Fitzgerald has recently finished recording the third series of HBO’s Game of Thrones which is due to be screened in the US and the UK in 2013.Tara’s other TV credits include Waking The Dead, Jane Eyre and The Body Farm.

Her film work includes I Capture The Castle, Brassed Off, Sirens and The Englishman Who Went Up The Hill But Came Down A Mountain.

Previous theatre includes, Farewell to The Theatre (Hampstead Theatre), Broken Glass (Vaudeville Theatre), The Misanthrope (Comedy Theatre), And Then There Were None (Gielgud Theatre), A Doll’s House (Donmar Warehouse/National Tour) and Hamlet (Almeida/Broadway).

Talking about the production, director Lucy Bailey said: “The Winter’s Tale is set in a notional Sicilia and Bohemia. Most interpretations of the play revolve around the relationship of these two worlds.

“When I read the play, I had two strong instincts - that Sicilia and Bohemia were one and the same place, just two different modes of being, and that the “idyll” which is often understood to be Bohemia, is actually Sicilia.

“In our version, which is set in the 1860s, the play begins in Sicilia, where Leontes and his court live a sheltered, beautiful dream of a life, bathed in endless sunshine, and completely removed from the real world of work and suffering.

“It is in essence an Ivory Tower. At the bottom of their tower, well beyond view, is Bohemia, where the working men and women, despite their struggle, make the most out of very little. We have tried to encapsulate this in our design for the play.”

The production is designed by William Dudley, with lighting by Oliver Fenwick, and sound by David McSeveney.

Tickets are £12-£29.50 (plus concessions) and they are available by calling the box office on 0115 989 5555.