Cymbeline – 2010

Director Michael G Williamson

‘Tis but a dream, or else such stuff as madmen tongue and brain not…

‘Cymbeline’ is one of Shakespeare’s later ‘romances’ and it was written to celebrate the recent unification of ‘Britain’ by the accession of King James 1 of England and VI of Scotland. It recalls another ‘Britain’ prior to the Roman conquest as imagined and described in the works of Holinshed and Geoffrey of Monmouth. Like many of the romance plays, it has a fairytale quality and contains some beautiful language.

By combining ancient Britain, classical Rome, Jacobean England and Renaissance Italy, Shakespeare creates a self sufficient dramatic world which is at once mythical and recognisable. This interesting and anomalous mix has encouraged us to create our own occasional, more contemporary references.

Like the other romance plays, ‘Cymbeline’ had the advantage of being written for indoor performance. In 1608 the King’s Men had finally acquired the use of the Blackfriars Theatre which James Burbage had bought and converted for them twelve years before. They apparently continued to use ‘The Globe’ for summer performances but were able to move into the indoor theatre during the winter months. This venue gave Shakespeare an opportunity to develop his style and to include such new stage techniques as musical masques and more unusual technical effects.

This has always been one of my favourite plays combining, as it does, many elements of the great tragedies with a keen sense of humour. I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to direct it for the Trust and sincerely hope that our interpretation will please.

This will be the first time that ‘Cymbeline’ has been presented at ‘The George’. It is a very challenging play but, well-staged, it can hold an audience enthralled. Sometimes regarded as Shakespeare’s most ‘avant-garde work’, it is coloured with a romantic simplicity and with that strangely touching late-Shakespearean tenderness for a
thing ‘long lost and beautifully recovered’.

 

Cast

BRITAIN

Cymbeline: King of Britain Richard Fitt

Queen Ignoge: his second wife Stephanie Hamer

Innogen: his daughter by a former Queen and heir presumptive to the throne Giovanna Ryan

Cloten: the Queen’s son by a former marriage Neal Dench

Posthumus Leonatus: Ward to the King: married secretly to Innogen Alan Marston

Pisanio: Posthumus’ Servant Guy Marshall

Cornelius: Court Physician Mark Ullyett

Gerenus: Lord Chamberlain Derrick Scothern

Cherin: a young Lord Henry Martin

British Captain Paul Gaskell

British Soldier Nicholas Cole

Lady Helen Paula Incledon-Webber

Lady Dorothy Stephanie Dickenson

Lady Isolde Katie Gouskos

ROME

Philario: Senator: A friend of Posthumus’ Father Phil Cox

Iachimo: An Officer in the Roman Army Rob Barton

Gallius: A French Officer in the Roman Army Tony Champion

Caius Lucius: Roman Ambassador to Britain and later General of the invading army Mark Hebert

Roman Soldier John Durrant

Courtesans Stephanie Dickenson, Katie Gouskos

CAMBRIA

Belarius: Banished British Lord using the name of Morgan Paul Silver

Guiderius: Elder son of Cymbeline: Stolen in infancy and believed to be Polydore, son of Morgan Thomas Hebert

Arviragus: Younger son of Cymbeline: Stolen in infancy and believed to be Cadwal, son of Morgan James Phillips

The Gentleman Les Roberts

Young Arviragus Luke Wilson

Young Guiderius Jonathan Doyle/Jordan Marston

Musicians Roy Bellas, John Durrant, Robert Durrant

 

Production Team

DIRECTOR Michael G Williamson

ASSISTANT TO DIRECTOR Elizabeth Elliott

STAGE MANAGER Kevin Connor

LIGHTING DESIGN Edward Hopkins

LIGHTING TEAM Edward Hopkins, Roger Blackmore

SOUND DESIGN Adrian Wadey

WARDROBE MISTRESS Jo Fradley

WARDROBE ASSISTANTS Helen Arnett, Phillipa Daniels, Ruth Davies, Diane Dickenson, Alison Hudson, Gretta Tamlyn

SWORD MASTER AND FIGHT ARRANGER Nicholas Cole

MUSIC COMPOSED AND ARRANGED BY Roy Bellass

MUSICIANS Roy Bellass, John Durrant, Robert Durrant

PROPERTIES Smiley and Cherry Mildwater

PUBLICITY Jane Wadey

POSTER DESIGN Trevor Bass, Jane Wadey, Michael G Williamson

CAST PHOTOGRAPHS Antonia Brown

CONTINUITY Elizabeth Elliott, Caryl Jones, Michael Black

FRONT OF HOUSE AND SALES Trish James, Michael Cook and Team

MAKE-UP Richard Brown, Roz Brown, Caroline Harbord, Sarah Ward, Caroline Lewis, Sarah Dalley and Team

STAGE/SET CONSTRUCTION Kevin Connor, Ken McCollin, Richard Morley, Kevin Webb, Smiley Mildwater

SET DESIGN Kevin Connor, Michael G Williamson, Rob Barton

BACKSTAGE Ken McCollin, Richard Morley, Nick Morley, Kevin Webb, Suzanne Connor

BOX OFFICE Cheryl Cook and Team

CHAPERONE Heather Williamson

PROGRAMME DESIGN Peter Brown in conjunction with Ken Girvan Printers Ltd

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