Saturday, 21 May 2016


 On Thursday of this week, we, together with about forty other people of this area (including friend Hilary), set out at about ten to seven in the morning, and went, by coach to Stratford on Avon, to see the afternoon performance of Shakespear's Cymbeline at the Royal Shakespear Theatre (see above photograph). Most of us had never seen this play before, and although I read it before we set out, at the end of my reading, the more confused both the play and I seemed. It is a complicated play set in Romano British times. A good many liberties had been taken with the plot, which probably didn't really help (to my mind they never really do). King Cymbeline had become a Queen instead. The King's two young sons had been kidnapped in early childhood (in the standard plot) but in the version we saw, these were a boy and a girl, and when a cave/hole in the ground was opened, the two missing children, a boy and a girl, came out, and this gave the play (for me) a similarity to the Suffolk tale of  'the green children of Woolpit'.  Very confusing, but really quite enjoyable in its way.

We got back into the coach at about five p.m. and I took the next two photos  (of Stratford on Avon) through the coach windows.  A pretty place - lots of half timbered buildings - but I can think of a good many places in Suffolk which are just as  good.

We slept, on and off, in the coach most of the way home, and got home at about ten p.m.   We all quite enjoyed it, but if we do it again  we'll try and make it a play we know (Quite fancy 'The Tempest' which is one of my favourites) and if we know it, I could hear it rather better, if you see what I mean.

We don't seem to have stopped this week, and as it's approaching nine o'clock  I think I'm going to have an early night.  I bid you all a very good night.

Warm regards, Mike and Ann.


Crowbard said...

Shakespeare's Cymbeline is considered to be modelled on the historic King Cunobelinus, a distant relative of ours and ruler of a large area of South-Eastern Britain from circa 10 AD to 42 Anno Domini when he died. He is the Cymbeline in William Shakespeare’s play of that name, but the play’s fanciful plot bears no relation to the events in Cunobelinus’s career, a sad trait emphasised by modern-day productions.

Cunobelinus succeeded his father, Tasciovanus, as chief of the Catuvellauni, a tribe centred north of what is now London. Tasciovanus’s capital was Verlamio, to the North of the later Roman site of Verulamium (modern St. Albans). Either shortly before or shortly after his accession, Cunobelinus conquered the territory of the Trinovantes, in modern Essex. He made Camulodunum (modern Colchester) his capital and the seat of his mint. The many surviving coins from the mint are stamped with Latin slogans and figures from mythology. His power and influence were so extensively felt in Britain that the Roman biographer Suetonius referred to him as Britannorum rex (“King of the Britons”) in his "Life of the Emperor Caligula". About 40AD Cunobelinus banished his son Adminius, who thereupon fled to Rome and persuaded Caligula to make preparations to invade Britain. The expedition was assembled, but it never left the continent. After Cunobelinus’s death, his two other sons, Caratacus and Togodumnus, displayed the hostility toward Rome that gave the emperor Claudius an excuse to impose Roman rule on the island. As we have only Latin written records of this period it is possible that all the names had a more Gallic terminal rather than the Roman "-us".

Mike and Ann said...

P.s. Hello Crowbard. It is, of course, a very true old saying that 'history is written by the victors'.

Crowbard said...

Yes Mike, and the Roman victors destroyed British history by wiping out the druids, whose principal function was memorising the oral traditions and records of their people's history.
I've put up a few images of coins and artefacts from that period on my blog 'Carl's Curios'.

Mike and Ann said...

Yes, thank you, Carl. Fascinating stuff. Come to think of it, I've an ancient silver coin kicking about my bourogh/beaurou...desk, which I bought years ago as being of the period of Boadicea/Boudicca. I'll have a look for it.

Pat said...

Better to fall asleep in the coach than in the theatre. Alastair and I often went to Bath and Bristol to the theatre and I learned the hard way not to have a glass of wine at lunch.