Monday, January 21, 2013


I watched "Cymbeline", the next in the BBC Shakespeare series. Sorry to report it was a pretty dull affair. Director Elijah Moshinsky once again seemed more interested in staging pretty pictures than in revealing character and driving the drama forward. They're actors, not objects!

It must be said too that this is one of the more unpleasantly implausible of Shakespeare's plays. All a woman need do is throw on a pair of knickers and her feminine identity is completely inscrutable even to those who know her most intimately.

A few notable performances: Robert Lindsay made a fascinating Iachimo, notably creepy in the "bedroom scene". Paul Jesson was insufferably snotty and petulant (but in a good way) as Cloten. (Jesson is, incidentally, the "King of the BBC Shakespeare", appearing in eight of the series' productions.) Geoffrey Burridge and David Creedon as Guiderius and Arviragus sang "Fear No More" nicely; Stephen Oliver's setting wasn't quite as touching as Stephen Sondheim's, but still very effective.

Two more Moshinskys to go in the series. Sigh.

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