As previously tipped (See The Goss, 3 Oct 2003), Propeller Theatre, Edward Hall's all-male Shakespeare ensemble, will follow their Award-winning West End hit staging of A Midsummer Night's Dream with a new production of The Winter's Tale in the new year.

As with all Propeller productions since the company’s foundation in 1997, The Winter's Tale will open at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, where it runs from 20 January to 19 March 2005. It will then tour, until 4 June, to Malvern, Guildford, Salford, Liverpool, Oxford, Richmond and Newcastle.

To date, Propeller’s has staged five acclaimed productions of Shakespeare’s work - Henry V, The Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, Rose Rage (a two-part adaptation of the Henry V trilogy) and A Midsummer Night's Dream - the latter two of which transferred to the West End. A Midsummer Night's Dream, which had an extended run at the Comedy Theatre in summer 2003, won the company the 2003/4 Award for Best Ensemble Performance.

Propeller director Edward Hall, son of Sir Peter Hall, has been steadily working elsewhere as well. His other recent award-winning productions have included Edmond with Kenneth Branagh, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (both at the National), Macbeth with Sean Bean in the West End, and opening on Broadway in the spring, A Streetcar Named Desire.

The cast for The Winter's Tale are Robert Barritt, Tony Bell, Dugald Bruce Lockhart, Richard Clothier, Alasdair Craig, Vince Leigh, Adam Levy, Chris Myles, Simon Scardifield, James Tucker, Jules Werner and Tam Williams. The production is designed by Michael Pavelka, with lighting by Ben Ormerod and music by Tony Bell and Dugald Bruce Lockhart. The text has been edited by Edward Hall and Roger Warren.

- by Terri Paddock