Production Language English
Country of Origin England, United Kingdom
Description One of Shakespeare's late plays, Cymbeline is a fascinating mix of fantasy and reality, the beautiful and the grotesque. An infrequently performed romantic tale of improbable plot twists and ultimate reconciliation. Adrian Noble, artistic director of the RSC (and director of the RSC's Winter's Tale at BAM in 1994), brings a welcome simplicity to the production in both narrative and design. While paring down the excesses of the text, Noble retains the wonder, warmth and haunting magic of Shakespeare's comic romance.
The central story pits the English Princess Imogen against her malevolent new stepmother who is determined to make the Princess marry her cloddish son Cloten. Set in Celtic Britain and ancient Rome, it's a wondrous tale of abductions, beheadings, banished lovers, mistaken identities, spurious wagers and magic potions. At the heart of all this is Joanne Pearce whose spirited Imogen had English audiences smitten.
Designer Anthony Ward replaces the traditional European setting with the look and style of Japanese kabuki, including flowing kimonos, gongs and a billowing white cloth that rises and falls gently to the stage throughout the play.