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Let Cymbals Crash for Cymbeline

Cymbeline, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford Upon Avon. From 22 April to 27 May 2023.

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio, Artistic Director Emeritus Gregory Doran directs the last play in that volume.

Preview by Anne Cee

Let’s talk about the trials and tribulations of the King of Ancient Britain as we scoot back through history to when Britain encounters Rome and then recalls to Wales, pausing to put Milford Haven on the map for high drama and legendary deceits and fakery. This is King Cymbeline who the Romans installed back in the day when Augustus Caesar was Emperor of Rome.

Beleaguered Cymbeline faces many testing challenges connected to his wives, his children, his friends and his state, as his two young sons, Guiderius and Arvirargus, are stolen from him; his daughter, Imogen, undermines his marriage plans for her and rebels rise against him.

Some say the story of Cymbeline is a tragedy whilst others claim it is romance or even comedy – we’ll have to wait until later this month to discover how Artistic Director Emeritus Gregory Doran of the Royal Shakespeare Company wants us to see it today – almost four hundred years since Shakespeare penned it. I suspect it will be a production that gives us all pause for thought on the concluding theme of peace and reconciliation.


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