Shakespeare’s Cymbeline renamed ‘Imogen’ for first Globe season under Emma Rice

Appalling. Cultural vandalism, no less. In Shakespeare’s play, Cymbeline was a King of Britain, Imogen his daughter.

Emma Rice is the new artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. An interview with her was published in today’s Guardianhere. An extract:

The fact that just 16% of Shakespeare’s characters are women – and that most of the memorable lines are spoken by men – will not stop Emma Rice’s mission to get a gender-balanced stage at Shakespeare’s Globe.

“There is no reason why Gloucester can’t be a woman,” said Rice, who succeeds Dominic Dromgoole as the venue’s artistic director in April. “If anybody bended gender it was Shakespeare, so I think it just takes a change of mindset.”

On Tuesday, Rice announced her inaugural season, which will open with a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and end with a version of Cymbeline “renamed and reclaimed” as Imogen.

8 thoughts on “Shakespeare’s Cymbeline renamed ‘Imogen’ for first Globe season under Emma Rice

  1. P.S.
    Heroic new feminist academic research now reveals that none of Shakespeare’s work was actually written by him, but by his wife Mrs. Imogen Shakespeare instead.
    Encouraged by the misogynynistic partriarchy, the well known domestic violence technique was then employed to make her keep quiet about it.
    This must be what Emma Rice refers to in her brave and insightful assertion that the work in question has been “reclaimed”.

  2. ‘ … If anybody bended gender it was Shakespeare … ‘


    ‘ … with a version of Cymbeline “renamed and reclaimed” as Imogen.

    ‘Reclaimed’ from what?

    Next offerings a lesbian Romeo and Juliet, Henrietta V (renamed and reclaimed) and a ‘Trans’ Richard III (now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this reassignment therapy)?

  3. She was on Radio 4 this morning apparently describing her plans to ‘dumb down’ Shakespeare – unfortunately I missed it. If Shakespeare is too difficult for her perhaps she should reconsider her career. The Globe has been doing a pretty good job bringing Shakespeare to a large public – Shakespeare’s public, including many tourists – without the need to Bowdlerise. If Rice destroys the Globe’s hard-won reputation it would be tragic.

  4. “It just takes a change of mindset”
    I should say so.
    They’re even trying to impose a retrospective gender quota on history now.
    Surprised in was in the Grauniad though – I would have thought it was more in the Telegripe’s line of country…

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