(Jane Shilling’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 5/30. Although not including Cymbeline, the above video shows different clips from Ninagawa's Shakespeare productions.)

As the members of the audience take their seats for Yuko Ninagawa’s Japanese-language Cymbeline, they find the stage thronged with busy life. Actors in printed robes sit at brightly lit dressing tables, or wander about gossiping. Suddenly they form a line at the front of the stage, whip off their wrappers and reveal themselves gorgeously costumed in a striking fusion of ancient Celtic and Japanese garb.

Cymbeline is one of Shakespeare’s late, problematic plays: a stylised set of variations on favourite Shakespearean themes, including sexual jealousy, cross-dressing, and the tragedy of a virtuous monarch estranged from his best self.


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