Madrid, Wednesday XXV.VII.MMVII

Cheek by Jowl’s production of Cymbeline was splendid. The actors were great (except for John Macmillan, who played a rotten Guiderius), especially Tom Hiddleston, who doubled as Cloten and Posthumus Leonatus, Richard Cant, and Laurence Spellman. (…) Guy Flanagan (…) did a good job of imitating an Italian accent, but was mildly histrionic to my mind: breathing through his mouth like a fish and moving more like a mimic than an actor.
The text had been cut down to about two hours and twenty-five minutes. Luckily, my favourite lines—‘Britain is/A world by itself, and we will nothing pay/For wearing our own noses’—weren’t omitted, though they went painfully unnoticed by the audience. But then, the audience wasn’t exactly what I’d call brilliant: laughing at the base jokes and shrinking at the mere sight of blood. Nothing’s changed much since Shakespeare first presented the public with this so-called tragedy, has it?


10.07.07. Diary.

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