The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0766 Wednesday, 4 April 2001
Date: Saturday, 31 Mar 2001 01:11:44 -0500
Subject: 12.0737 Cymbeline: staged or read?
Comment: Re: SHK 12.0737 Cymbeline: staged or read?
Karen Peterson-Kranz ask for comments on someone else's observation that
> "The play is one that, I think, no modern audience can take at all
> seriously, since it is filled from end to end with plots devices and
> characters of an entirely symbolic/romantic nature. ...."Cymbeline is
> READ now, and not staged.
I disagree with the unnamed professor. On the page, the absurdities are
more obvious that they are on a stage peopled with talented actors. The
theatrical experience smooths out the rough edges and draws a responsive
audience into enjoying the twists and turns. A few years ago, the New
York Shakespeare Festival put on a magical production of the play in
Central Park, with Liam Schreiber doubling as Iachimo and Jupiter (or
Jachimo and Iupiter). A couple of seasons past, the Original
Shakespeare Company (they who believe that rehearsals are a pernicious
innovation) staged a one-off at The Globe which developed immense
amounts of humor from the text which wouldn't be imaginable from merely
I look forward to seeing what Mark Rylance will do with the play this
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