This strange, dark romance includes two songs composed by Shakespeare that are amongst the most beautiful in the English language. Imogen, the daughter of King Cymbeline, is persecuted by her wicked stepmother, the Queen, and by Cloten, the Queen's doltish son. Disguised as a boy, she sets out to find her husband, the banished Posthumus. On her journey, she unwittingly meets her two brothers, stolen from the court as infants. Posthumus, meanwhile, has been convinced by the villainous Iachimo that Imogen is unchaste and agrees to a test of her faithfulness. Sophie Thompson is Imogen, and Ben Porter is Posthumus. Cymbeline is played by Jack Shepherd while Suzanne Bertish is the Queen. Stephen Mangan plays Cloten, and Ron Cook plays Iachimo.
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by William Shakespeare
"In a kind of romantic fairy tale set during pagan Britain's conflicts with the Roman empire, a banished husband bets a rogue that his virtuous wife, Imogen. cannot be seduced. Imogen indeed rebuffs the rogue, who resorts to trickery to win his bet. A late play (c. 1610), CYMBELINE is not an audience favorite, despite some fine songs and poetry. The energetic Arkangel cast, striving successfully for clarity and drama, does not possess sufficient personality to compensate for the play's deficiencies of consistency and characterization. The production is perhaps more useful to the Shakespearean student than it is enjoyable for the Shakespearean listener. Y.R. (c) AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine"
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