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Cymbeline (1932/3)
Cymbeline Programme Image Cymbeline has lost his two sons. His only remaining child, Imogen, is married to Posthumus. His second wife plots to destroy Posthumus so that her boreish son, Cloten, may marry Imogen. The banished Posthumus wages with Iachimo in Rome that Imogen is of an incomparable chastity. Iachimo comes to England and by a trick obtains evidence that Imogen is unchaste. Imogen, cast off by her husband, comes to the mountains where Belarius rears Cymbeline's two sons. Cloten, pursuing her, is killed by one of the sons. The Romans land to exact tribute. Belarius and the two boys obtain British victory and in the final scene the various plots and misunderstandings are skillfully unravelled. Full synopsis or Gallery.

Posthumus: Hang there like fruit, my soul,
Till the tree die.

Belarius: How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature!

Guiderius: Fear no more the heat o' the sun, Nor the furious winter's rages; Thou thy worldly task hast done, Home art gone and ta'en thy wages: Golden lads and girls all must, As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.


cast list production credits
Cymbeline Alastair Sim


Frank Napier
PerditaImogen Peggy Ashcroft


Caius Lucius Anthony Quayle Theatre The Old Vic
Iachimo Malcom Keane Presented by Lilian Bayliss
Pisanio Roger Livesey Produced by Harcourt Williams
Posthumus Leonatus George Devine    
Cloten Geoffrey Wincott    
1st Genetleman James Lytton

Cymbeline Cast

2ns Gentleman C Winterbottom
Cornelius Frank Napier
Queen Caroline Keith
1st Lord Harold Chapin
2nd Lord Marius Goring
Belarius Morland Graham
Interesting facts

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In 1932/33 Alastair started his second season at he The Old Vic where Malcom Kean and Peggy Ashcroft were leading the company.

Harcourt Williams states, in the programme of the play, that for period, this production of the play compromised between Boccaccio and the folk tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Granville Barker asks, "Why cultivate an archaeological conscience towards such a story as this? The problem is to devise a setting and costuming which will neither betray the humanity which is at the heart of the play, nor wall it round with ill fitting exactitudes".

Harcourt Williams also stated of this production: "The "battle" in the Folio is naked of the usual "Alarums and Excursions", indeed it is quite unlike any other Shakespeare battle scene. We have treated it as a decorative mime. The omission of the Jupiter dream is a sacrifice to time".