George V. Reilly

Review: Cymbeline

Title: Cymbeline
Director: Vince Brady
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Released: 2016
Keywords: Shake­speare, comedy
Watched: 31 July, 2016

I’m familiar with most of Shake­speare’s plays, but not only had I never seen Cymbeline before today, I knew nothing about it. While the per­for­mance we saw was enjoyable, I began to see why it’s one of the lesser-known plays. It’s one of Shake­speare’s later, minor comedies, with such familiar elements as a cross­dress­ing heroine, confused and separated lovers, false ac­cu­sa­tions of infidelity, stolen princes, a knavish villain who gets his come­up­pance, and a loyal servant. It’s easy to see a tired Shake­speare trotting out yet another comedy to amuse the groundlings.

We saw the Greenstage production at the scenic Lake Wilderness Park out in Maple Valley. Katherine Jett as the heroine Imogen, Warren Haney as the buffoonish villain Cloten, and Sam Hagen as the faithful servant Pisanio stood out amongst the cast. Imogen is in most scenes and is far more in­ter­est­ing than her lost love, Posthumus, while the vain­glo­ri­ous Cloten cavorts and sneers with the worst of them and Pisanio serves Posthumus and Imogen better than they deserve.

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