The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0986  Monday, 8 May 2000.

From:           Tim Richards <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Sunday, 07 May 2000 14:32:37 +1000
Subject:        Cymbeline in Melbourne

I've just seen Cymbeline for the first time, an interesting experience.

The fairy tale elements (wicked stepmothers etc) stand out, but I also
thought it was derivative of Shakespeare's earlier work: jealousy themes
from Othello, tests of fidelity from Merchant, gender-swapping from
Twelfth Night and so on. It seems a little thin, not a lot of depth to
the characters or story.

The drama students at Melbourne University have co-opted the fairy tale
elements to give the play a "stagey" context, i.e. playing up the
fantastic elements with set and costume. The predominant colours are
orange, pink and green, a kind of candy effect on a set based on De
Witt's sketch of the Swan Theatre.

I thought their attempt at it worked well, given the limitations of the
script and the unevenness of student acting. My full review of the
production is at http://www.stageleft.com.au for those interested.

Could I ask list members to share their experiences of any other
stagings of Cymbeline? I assume it's not staged often, and I'd be
interested to hear what approaches different companies have made to set,
costume, context and so on.

Tim Richards.

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