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W. Shakespeare
(translated by Valerio Vittorio Garaffa)

Riccardo Bocci
Chiara Cimmino Sander
Valerio Vittorio Garaffa
Mario Pietramala

directed by Valerio Vittorio Garaffa

costume design Simona Cimmino
scenography Alessandro Loffredo e Rachele Pozzar
costumes assistant Viola Collini
masks Riccardo Rossi

Sounds of Shakespeare, Sounds of Italy

The Italian language is magnificent, and it is known for its musicality throughout the world. Its poetry, unfortunately, has fallen out of use on Italian stages.
In Shakespeare’s works, however, verse is a protagonist, at times leaping, at times accelerating, at times slowing down, always taking centre-stage. It is not an accidental guest in the text: from deliberate sounds and rhythms of verse, characters and moods are born.

TEATRO DEL DISÌO has chosen one of the lesser-known works of the English playwright in order to celebrate an ancient and quintessentially Italian method of making theatre, that of the Commedia dell’arte, which, along with its use of masks, made heavy use of poetic language.

The new and unpublished translation, by the director Valerio Vittorio Garaffa, embraces the Shakespearean text by respecting the sound structure of Shakespeare’s verse. He combined the famous English blank verse with the Italian endecasillabo verse, in order to respect the rules governing theatre and not just the literary ones.

“Cymbeline”: Four Actors Playing 30 characters

In this production, four actors transform themselves into Cymbeline’s 30 characters, in a spectacle full of verse and of disguises.
The play is staged as an Italian Commedia dell’Arte performance. An Italian craftman was commissioned to make masks inspired by 16th century Italian characters which were a perfect foil for the costumes.

Cymbeline is a fanciful spectacle that celebrates the joy and strength of the actor, using an agile set design that reminds us of those used by Italian acting troupes of the 16th century,  aligning itself with a tradition that makes a virtue out of poverty.

Why Cymbeline?

Cymbeline is an upbeat example of a life dedicated to the theatre.
If we consider The Tempest  to be Shakespeare’s departure from day-to-day life, Cymbeline  may be seen as the play in which  the playwright departs from  “theatre” in its capacity as a  ‘grand game’ that human beings play.  In this sense, the play is not just an exploration of the human soul, therefore, but a celebration of theatre above all. The text includes a bit of everything: separated lovers and jealousy, unreasonable kings and power struggles, adept seducers, and Roman soldiers. It also includes one of the most interesting female characters  in all of Shakespeare’s work, as well as some brilliant and experimental verse.
In Cymbeline, Shakespeare pushes the envelope as much as he can, overlapping situations and characters, making bold choices in verse and meter, and creating a rush of stories that flows like a river.