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Royal Shakespeare Company: Cymbeline (2016)

Britain is in crisis. An ineffectual King Cymbeline rules over a divided dystopian Britain. Consumed with grief at the death of two of his children, Cymbeline's judgment is clouded. When ... See full summary »


Melly Still


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Credited cast:
Hiran Abeysekera ... Posthumus
Romayne Andrews Romayne Andrews ... First Lord
Gillian Bevan ... Cymbeline
Doreene Blackstock ... Cornelia
Eke Chukwu ... Caius Lucius
James Clyde James Clyde ... The Duke
James Cooney ... Aviragus
Bethan Cullinane ... Innogen
Marième Diouf Marième Diouf ... Helen
Jenny Fennessy Jenny Fennessy ... Gentlewoman / Jailer
Kevin Golding ... Messenger
Marcus Griffiths Marcus Griffiths ... Cloten
Oliver Johnstone Oliver Johnstone ... Iachimo
Byron Mondahl ... Philario
Theo Ogundipe ... Second Lord / Roman Captain


Britain is in crisis. An ineffectual King Cymbeline rules over a divided dystopian Britain. Consumed with grief at the death of two of his children, Cymbeline's judgment is clouded. When Innogen, the only living heir, marries her sweetheart Posthumus in secret, an enraged Cymbeline banishes him. Behind the throne, a power-hungry figure plots to seize power by murdering them both. In exile Innogen's husband is tricked into believing she has been unfaithful to him and in an act of impulsive jealousy begins a scheme to have her murdered. Warned of the danger, Innogen runs away from court in disguise and begins a journey fraught with danger that will eventually reunite Cymbeline with a long-lost heir and reconcile the young lovers. Written by RSC

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Drama | Romance






English | Italian | Latin

Release Date:

28 September 2016 (UK) See more »

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Version of Cymbeline (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Production
16 March 2019 | by stevemyrgySee all my reviews

Once again, due to the lack of any other reviews of an RSC film, I am forced to write one. (I always prefer reading them to writing my own, but will do so should there be none). This was a very, very good production. They stayed quite true to the play, although it seemed that the uniforms would place some of the combatants at a later time that the start of the first millinium, when Shakespeare set it. However, the costumes of the British, particularly the Welsh mountaineers, were seemingly appropriate to the time.

The main female lead, Imogen, is played by Bethane Cullinane who brings and energy and passion to the many ups and downs experienced by this young lady who finds herself head over heels in love in a fractious court during perilous times. Her husband, Posthumus, was played by Keran Abeysekara and although I would have preferred a larger physical frame (his rival for Imogen's affections towers over him by a good six inches and at least fifty pounds), his fervent deliveries more than compensate make this potential drawback somewhat trivial.

The sexes of several characters - the King, the Queen, the doctor, the most important attendant and one of the kidnapped heirs to the throne - have been reversed, necessitated some pronoun, name spelling and official title alterations, but this provides no impediment to the overall fine presentation. What was somewhat strange was having siblings of different racial coloration.

Of particular note was the very effective manner with which 'asides' were handled: all other characters of the stage would freeze, some high pitched electronic music would play, betokening a somewhat mystic environment, and the aside would be delivered, with the audience thus never having to worry about how the other characters on the stage at the time are not privy to the utterance. Also, the manner in which the Queen is saved during the climactic was also staged in quite a 'Wow!' manner.

Having watched the 1982 and 2014 movie adaptations of this play, I was looking forward to the scene in which Shakespeare requires Jupiter to descend from the heavens to deliver some oracular pronouncement to a Posthumus who feels he is near death. This is to occur after he's been approached by the shades (ghosts) of his dead parents and brothers. The little cut out pieces of paper did NOT do the job of the ghosts, which were much more convincingly presented in Moshinsky in 1982 movie and (although three of the four were missing) in Almereyda in 2014. However, the arrival of Jupiter was splendidly done here - with the shocking drawback that it wasn't Jupiter at all! O well, directorial license is always a good thing, though it does lead to inevitable disagreements and disappointments.

Overall, very, very well done and well worth the little over three hours of viewing time it requires.

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