Designer William Dudley provides two dominant images for Lucy Bailey's intriguingly beautiful production of Shakespeare's late play of loss and redemption.
A video back projection of a seascape mirrors the changing moods of the action and a strange central metal tower structure serves as prison, lighthouse and fairground attraction as the play progresses.
"Your actions are my dreams," the jealousy-demented Leontes savagely explains to his pregnant queen Hermione. And indeed Leontes's Sicilia is presented here as a languorous pre-Raphaelite dream world where the inhabitants of the court idle away the hours sleeping or drinking and smoking.
This self-indulgent nirvana explodes when, inexplicably, Leontes's life-long friendship with his fellow king Polixenes turns into hysterical jealousy.
Convinced that his wife is having an adulterous affair with Polixenes, he plots his visitor's murder and when foiled determines to destroy her and her new-born "bastard" daughter.
Apparently too late, his fantasies agonisingly collapse when the Oracle proclaims Hermione's innocence.
Over to rural Bohemia where 16 years later Leontes's miraculously saved daughter Perdita has grown up in what appears to be a north country seaside town which is enjoying its knees-up Wakes Week holiday with infectious enthusiasm.
Among a universally splendid cast, the brutal obsession of Jo Stone Fewings's Leontes - he punches his pregnant wife in the stomach - is matched by the fierce independence of Tara Fitzgerald's persecuted Hermione, a spirit shared by her Lancashire lass of a daughter, Emma Noakes's Perdita.
The Bohemian comedy is carried by Pearce Quigley's slyly attractive con-man Autolycus.
The long desolation of Leontes finally ends with his supposedly dead queen coming back to life and the next generation's frustrated young lovers at last united.
It is never to be doubted that all the rabbits will miraculously be pulled out of the hat and happiness will reign ever after for these "precious winners all."
Though it's a production without any of the play's questing undertones, in satisfying an age sated with too much painful realism it's bound to do well at the box office.
Runs until February 23, then tours. Box office 0844 800-1110