Wednesday, July 25, 2012

There Are No Famous Quotes In Cymbeline

"Cymbeline" - one of Shakespeare's lesser known plays. Actually, "Pericles" may be the only play lesser known than "Cymbeline".

Set in ancient Britain, when they were under Roman rule, the story revolves around King Cymbeline, his daughter Imogen, his second wife (the Evil Stepmother Queen!), her son Cloten, Imogen's lover Posthumous, some lost children of Cymbeline, a roguish Italian named Iachimo, a banished lord......your usual five-act Shakespeare bonanza of plot devices, disparate storylines, love, revenge, jealousy, battles, disguises, and a happy ending.

The design theme for the show was a fairytale, "Princess Bride" look - with a little Ancient Rome thrown in for good measure (there's a Roman General who shows up halfway through, and I decided to go with the classical Roman soldier tunic, tab belt and helmet for him, just to make things easy to follow).

I had most of the base costumes in my stock, and was able to pull several that I built years ago for "The Merchant of Venice"; but I created several hats, a really lovely, simple bodice for one of the women.

meet Headless Cloten II
Oh, and I had to dress a dummy. "Which one?" became the standard joke in the costume shop, not that we think actors are - not so bright. But when you have to teach a 50-year-old how to put on a shirt....(Most actors will admit to reverting to toddlerdom when it comes to putting on costumes; they forget how to tie their shoes, how to button their shirts, they pu a dress on backwards, etc.) 

Back to the dummy: Cloten, son of the Evil Queen, puts on Posthumous' outfit to fool Imogen, but instead runs into some rustic mountain folk (Cymbeline's kidnapped children, btw), and one of them beheads him. Yeah. And then Imogen finds the headless body, in Posthumous' clothes, and thinks her lover is dead. Tragic. Which meant I had to build a second tunic for the dummy. It's been bloodied and dirtied as well, by the t.d., and I hope to get a picture of the final "look" this weekend.

Fancy-schmancy king's robe
I had to do some repairs to Cymbeline's over-robe, and add additional trim to cover the repairs. He looks very regal.

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