Thursday, May 03, 2007


photo: Keith Pattison

Fresh, inventive, and distinctively elegant, Cheek by Jowl's production of Shakespeare's Cymbeline (currently at BAM) is a stunner; it's one of those uncommon, anachronistic presentations of Shakespeare in which style never gets in the way of substance, and its strong directorial imprint is always in service of telling the story clearly and effectively. The play is considered somewhat problematic - it's categorized as a comedy, yet it's loaded with devices that anticipate tragedy - but this production, guided by Declan Donnellan's insightful direction, moves assuredly to a fully realized, potently moving climax. The cast is excellent but Tom Hiddleston, in the dual role of the naive lover Posthumus and of the arrogant prince Cloten, deserves special attention for driving the play with his two superbly delineated performances.

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