Telling Tales

Watch the stream

The Winter’s Tale, one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, was streamed live from The Barbican in April 2017

Cheek by Jowl is the international touring theatre company of Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod. Since forming in 1981, it has performed across the world presenting large scale classical and modern works in English, French and Russian languages.

Worldwide streaming

In a first for the company, as well as being screened live to Cheek by Jowl’s website the company will partner with BBC Arts Digital, Spain’s El País, France’s Télérama and The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia who will all stream the production. The multi-camera screening will be available worldwide via all of these sites, and screened in English, French and Spanish (subtitled).

One of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, The Winter’s Tale, though written at the same period as The Tempest, smashes all the rules that The Tempest follows. Unity of time, place and action are hurled aside as the action ranges across Europe, from court to country, from high tragedy to low comedy, across a time span of sixteen years.

As well as being available to watch live, the production will be available on demand until midnight on 7 May via

Peter Moreton and Joy Richardson discuss their characters in The Winter’s Tale…..

Sam McArdle and Ryan Donaldson play Young Shepherd, Clown and Autolycus between them. They discuss the comic elements that they bring to the production.

David Carr and Edward Sayer examine the themes of betrayal and abandonment – and their consequences within the play.

Joseph Black and Guy Hughes throw light on the passage of time in the production.

About this artist

Cheek by Jowl is the home theatre company of Nick Ormerod and Declan Donnellan. Since it was founded in 1981 the company has been invited to perform across the world and now produces work in three languages; English, French and Russian.

A fundamental focus across all three languages has been the actor’s work. Some of the principles which guide the company’s work were correlated in The Actor and the Target, first published in Russian in 2000 and subsequently published in more than fifteen languages.

Cheek by Jowl’s first touring production was William Wycherley’s The Country Wife, presented at the Edinburgh Festival in 1981. On the drive up to Edinburgh, Donnellan and Ormerod’s car crashed. Despite this inauspicious start, (the pair were unscathed) the performances received the local awards and the company went on to make its debut in London at the Donmar Warehouse.

The core of the Cheek by Jowl’s repertoire has always been Shakespeare; by the time of The Tempest in 2011 Cheek by Jowl had presented no fewer than 13 of Shakespeare’s plays. Another of the company’s principles has been to present major works of European drama, both in translation and in their original versions. To date Cheek by Jowl has given the British premières of 10 European classics. Astonishingly this includes The Cid by Corneille and Andromache by Racine, performed by Cheek by jowl for the first time in England over three hundred years after they were written!