By John Topliff
Winter by John Topliff
An adaptation of William Shakespeare’s ‘The Winter’s Tale’
for The Manchester Shakespeare Company
War is the destroyer of everything. Boyhood friends Leo and Paul had very different experiences of war. One was lucky, the other was not. Leo believes everything he loves is a lie and he is prepared to act upon his jealous delusions. These actions have devastating consequences for his wife his family and his friends. When he finally accepts the truth, it is too late: his wife and son are dead and his daughter lost. His only comfort is Pauline his wife’s best friend, she holds out hope for the future: hope of Spring in the depths of Winter. Leo’s life will only begin again when his lost daughter is returned to him.
The years pass, the seasons change and an unexpected visit from strangers from the country sets in motion a chain of almost magical events that begin to thaw Leo from his frozen grief. He begins to believe that there might just be a chance of forgiveness and the restoration of the love that was so cruelly lost. With Pauline’s help the impossible is about to happen. From death comes rebirth. From Winter comes Spring and with it the first hope of Summer.
Set in the dark austerity of Post-War Mancia, and the brave new world of the 1960’s ‘Winter’ traces the journey of two young friends through war and peace, love and jealousy, to the final startling conclusion.