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.