Imogen

Theatre, Shakespeare
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(27user reviews)
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 (© Tristram Kenton)
1/7
© Tristram Kenton

Maddy Hill (Imogen)

 (© Tristram Kenton)
2/7
© Tristram Kenton

Claire-Louise Cordwell (Queen) and Jonathan McGuinness (Cymbeline)

 (© Tristram Kenton)
3/7
© Tristram Kenton

Ira Mandela Siobhan (Posthumus)

 (© Tristram Kenton)
4/7
© Tristram Kenton

Joshua Lacey (Cloten), Erica Kouassi (Philaria), Martin Marquez (Belarius), Maddy Hill (Imogen) and Matthew Needham (Iachimo)

 (© Tristram Kenton)
5/7
© Tristram Kenton
 (© Tristram Kenton)
6/7
© Tristram Kenton

Anwar Russell (Cornelius), Ira Mandela Siobhan (Posthumus) and Okorie Chukwa (Carvilius)

 (© Tristram Kenton)
7/7
© Tristram Kenton

This enjoyable Brit gangsters riff on 'Cymbeline' doesn't quite succeed in dragging it into the twenty-first century

‘Imogen’ is subtitled ‘William Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline” renamed and reclaimed’, but it’s really that in name only. I mean that literally: by any modern measure, the title of the Bard’s late romance ‘Cymbeline’ is baffling, given the eponymous British king is a relatively peripheral character. The biggest part is his daughter, Imogen, and director Matthew Dunster’s decision to retitle the play does feel like the pointed righting of a historical wrong (sadly I doubt it’ll catch on).

The problem, though, is that for all the street-smart, vanity-free toughness the excellent Maddy Hill brings to the newly instated title role, there is no getting away from the fact that Imogen is kind of drippy and it really dates the play. Like a much less cool version of Rosalind from ‘As You Like It’, her entire storyline revolves around her doting over feckless exile Posthumus, who bets that his awful friend Giacomo won’t be able to seduce his virtuous bae. Giacomo cheerily fakes the evidence that he has, which leads massive tool Posthumus to order Imogen killed. Despite all this, almost all of Imogen’s dialogue involves going on about how much she loved Posthumus, who she eventually marries (of course). You may reasonably say that Dunster is constricted by the text, but it has to be said that Globe boss Emma Rice simply rewrote the play when she directed it for the RSC in 2006. 

None of this matters too much: Dunster’s Brit gangsters-style production is stupendously good fun, making full use of Rice’s relaxation of rules about period-accurate productions to unleash a loud, grimy, grime-soundtracked story of double-crossing lowlifes that actually makes surprising sense of ‘Cymbeline’s convoluted plot. At times he lays it on a bit thick: it feels like the bombastic, wordless opening sequence tries a bit too hard to show that yo, Shakespeare can be cool too. And a late fight sequence in which the combatants are suspended from ropes isn’t really the showstopper it was obviously meant to be. But ‘Imogen’ is relentlessly gripping, and also responsible for one of the most genuinely thrilling moments I’ve even seen in the Globe: the young cast going absolutely nuts to Skepta’s ‘Shutdown’ during the curtain call, and the standing groundling audience going about as crazy as I’ve even seen a Shakespeare audience in return. It feels like a beautifully Globe moment. 

By: Andrzej Lukowski

Posted:

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Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:8
  • 3 star:8
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|27
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Nicole
tastemaker

My first visit to The Globe and my first experience watching this incredible modern interpretation of Imogen. In all, it has to be one of the best productions I have ever seen! Having never actually read the play prior to watching the show I found it easy to follow and thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. The extremely talented and youthful actors were all outstanding and made for a very thrilling production. I especially loved how the roles of Kings and Queens were replaced with that of gang leaders and drug takers. Shakespeare for a new generation and absolutely worth a see!

Ed. T
Tastemaker

Having had only minor exposure to Shakespeare’s work, I came in expecting to be confounded and confused by old English, dated dialogue and irrelevant themes. This was the complete opposite of what Imogen ended up being, and ultimately, was a fantastic play to see and one which has ignited a new interest in seeing modern adaptions of Shakespeare.

Yes they speak in old English, but actually, the plot of the play is pretty clear and the actors do an incredible job of conveying the emotion, sense and passion behind their characters. I was originally disappointed by the set (there isn’t much of one), but the sparse use of props and clever staging highlighted some really heartfelt and raw scenes including singing from Maddy Hill, and 2 fight scenes that were equally gruesome yet fascinating to watch.

Yes Imogen is somewhat of a “drippy” character, but Maddy Hill does more than enough to portray the multiple aspects of her character that you can, at the very least, understand why she’s acting/speaking the things she does. 

All in all, this production does a wonderful job of simultaneously modernising Cymbeline/Imogen while staying true to some of its core heritage, appealing I think to both traditionalists (who will be pleasantly surprised about the modern setting) and the more progressive crowd who like to see things renewed for the modern age.

I would highly recommend this play to anyone, there’s more than enough humour, passion, fun and dance to appeal to everyone!

O. Gordon
Tastemaker

The Globe is a very special theatre that almost seems out of context with the rest of London's theatre scene. Having not been for years, I was immediately struck by how touristy it feels. The history seems to be lost in a fakeness, there to lure in those hoping to get a taste of the past. It's great that they kept the layout; open pit for those standing, uncomfortable pew-style seating for those privileged to sit and stay (mostly) dry. At least this feels honest and authentic. 


Imogen feels like an extension of the building. While holding a solid narrative, it treads both a very safe line and yet manages to come across as over the top. While I can't fault the acting or the direction, I can't really praise it. The play has been modernised in the laziest way possible with drug dealers taking place of standard royal hierarchy. The sound effects were straight out of Sicario and the music and wirework seemed there to distract you from what is essentially a pretty long and slow play.


I don't want deter anyone from going to the Globe or from watching Shakespeare but I wouldn't get your expectations up. The building is worth seeing and Imogen isn't bad, it's just a bit stale. 

Photosbysooz
Tastemaker

I loved this show and think it's the first Shakespeare I've had the pleasure to enjoy, rather than endure, since I saw Midsummer Nights Dream at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre.


The fact that I could actually follow this, despite having never heard of the original Cymbeline before, let alone read or seen it, meant I was really engaged with the characters. I was routing for Imogen and Posthumus to make it, angry at the stupidity of the King and the spitefulness of the Queen and thoroughly bemused by her ridiculous son, Cloten. The twins simply charmed with their sweetness and comedy and the rest of the cast were just superb. I must confess, I'm a bit of a hip-hop/street dance fan too, so the dance scenes further increased my enjoyment. 


There were some clever and imaginative sets and superb choreography and stage design, alongside a great selection of modern music. I did find myself slightly drifting towards the end of the first half and would like the whole thing to be about 15 minutes shorter than it was, but I barely blinked in the second act it was so fast paced and engaging, which made up for it. 


It's probably true that this is not everyone's cup of tea, with Grime numbers, wide-boy costumes, sex, violence and high-energy breakout dances, some people would inevitably recoil at what The Globe is calling Shakespeare. But from my understanding of the great literary master, his plays have endured because they're as relevant today as when he wrote them over 400 years ago.

Shakespeare's genius was his ability to see society and its petty struggles so clearly. Therefore what better way to tell this play to a contemporary audience then to set it in current times - with drug deals, the cast dressed in 'street-wear' and a very modern soundtrack. A great performance of a Shakespeare play most of us would never have heard of if it wasn't brought to the stage in this clever and creative adaption. 

Parklife

Having struggled with Shakespeare at school but at the same time being disdainful of approaches to make the Bard appeal to the youth, I feared the worst. This production was far from contrived and moments of comedy shone through from the various cast members despite the at times opaque language. Performances from Imogen, the caddish Iachimo and the boorish Cloten keep the momentum going along nicely for the three hours. Expect all the Shakespearean plot devices. Violence, cross dressing and mistaken identity. The ending and the subsequent exuberant dance to a well known grime artist was a joy to behold. A couple of tips for those who want to go. Please try and read a brief synopsis of Cymbeline before you go. It helps you understand the broad story as the stage and props depict gangland culture whilst the dialogue refers to life in Roman Britain. If you're lucky enough to secure a seat, try and obtain one against the wall (your core will thank you for it).

Sonia C

Wow, just wow! I loved this modern interpretation of one of Shakespeare's works I was completely unfamiliar with. This is innovative & imaginative theatre with a talented cast, brilliant set & fantastic use of contemporary music. Thwarted lovers, wicked stepmothers, revenge & dastardly deceptions all combine in a truly thrilling production. As someone who finds Shakespeare's prose hard to follow I was completely immersed in the plot & not knowing if it was a comedy or tragedy it was genuinely exciting not knowing which characters would survive. This should be on the National Curriculum. It would convert any teen to the bard!

Elisa R
Tastemaker

It was my first Shakespear play in London – I had seen Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet back in Paris but was curious to find out just how much I would understand of a play whose synopsis I didn't know at all and in old English. The answer is: not everything but got the general plot thanks to the modern and very expressive acting. Set in the beautiful and charged with history decor of the Globe, it was a very modern adaptation of the pretty obscure Cymbeline, where the different relms are actually drug gangs and pop songs such as Get Lucky are part of the story and atmosphere. I did enjoy it, even though it was a bit too long for my 21st century mind used to fast-paced TV dramas and the plot is painfully redundant - she takes a poison that will make her look dead, she will think he is dead, in the end nobody is actually dead... However, here's what I liked: the actors are charismatic, the staging very original and the dance throughout the 2.5 hour piece and at the very end were impressive and energetic.

Chlo Fo
Tastemaker

I like what The Globe is trying to do to bring Shakespeare to the masses with its gritty adaptation of Cymbelline - Hip Hop beats, grime and crime meet olde English middle class theatre. There's no doubting Hill does a great job of assuming the role of Imogen, but I think the Time Out review has hit the nail on the head with its mediocre review. Visually this play is brilliant, its stark set, clever artistic representation of the fight scenes and general choreography is impressive. However, it did feel a little try hard and disconnected. The rawness of the new theme and setting is somewhat thwarted by the slightly wet story and drippyness of Imogen's character. Sadly I feel it's a little try-hard, there's a bit of overacting at times and a hint of some middle class intellectuals trying to be politically correct. If I'm honest, if they're going to modernise Shakespeare, I'd rather they gave the script a revamp, so I don't have to read an executive summary to understand what on earth is going on.

Bonnie W
Tastemaker

The Globe’s latest play Imogen is based on Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, focusing more on the King’s daughter. It’s set in modern times in a drug dealing underworld. It’s very rough around the edges and some scenes are quite gruesome. The acting is well done and there were some great hip-hop dance scenes but overall I found the story a lot darker than I was expecting. This is definitely not traditional Shakespeare. 

Angela L

Never seen this play before, however it's Cymbeline modernised so renamed Imogen which I think is more apt.  I actually really enjoyed it and the only reason why I don't give it a five star review is because the diction of some the performers need work.  Also - it wasn't all that clear to me the druglord / underworld component... as the script did not change from the original which is about Britain against Rome.  I guess they reworked it into drug wars in order to modernise it.  The play itself was actually a comedy with tragedy and romance thrown in for good measure.  I HIGHLY recommend seeing this play!  Really enjoyed it!  

Shona R
Tastemaker

Loving the fresh take on Shakespeare's Cymbeline.  Refreshed with modern references to gangs, drugs, etc.  It's the first I've been to the Globe and I had no idea what the story was about but it was equal parts comedy/tragedy.  The modern soundtrack with everything from Drake to Daft Punk. 


If you're coming to the Globe, I highly recommend buying a £1 pillow to sit on.


Won't spoil the plot too much, but basic story:

- boy meets girl

- they can't be together so are separated

- boy thinks girl has been unfaithful and tries to kill her

- tragedy ensues


The casting is excellent and would recommend seeing this and having a look at upcoming plays in this open-air theatre.

jeaniekarl
Tastemaker

This is basically a modern day take on Cymbeline 'retold and reimagined' except it's Imogen that takes centre stage here. So admittedly I've never heard of Shakespere's Cymbeline and this was the first time I've been to the Globe. It was refreshing to see a play where I was unfamiliar with the storyline beforehand and was excited to see how the play would unfold and see it with no preconceived ideas. Consider it as a tragi-comedy of sorts set in times where rival gangs roam the streets dressed in sports gear to a grimy soundtrack featuring Daft punk and Skepta.

The Globe itself is wonderful place to visit and sets the scene with its Elizabethan open air theatre layout this provides the perfect backdrop for this production especially on a warm evening. The set design is very simple with the use of ropes wires, belays and scaffolding noted particularly in the later fighting scenes. I especially liked the swinging suspended bed too. This is surprisingly long almost three hours so getting seats is a recommendation if you feel standing for the duration is too much but there is an interval.

At first we were a bit baffled by what was going on, it took me a while to understand what the play was about, expect initially lots of bizarre rapid costume changes to background music as the story of the relationship between Imogen and posthumous is retold to the audience.

Expect the usual Shakespearean plots, talk, expressions of deep love, plotting scheming characters, dares, bloody gore, violence and of course mistaken identity. All in all, it ends with a happy ending with a bombastic finale with the cast getting down and putting their groove on!

The cast were superb, Maddy Hill is well casted for the role of Imogen and was excellent although at times Imogen's long expressions of undying love for her Posthumous could be considered bit much but probably to be expected in typical Shakespearean affair. Thinking back on what I've watched, this is definitely something very different to your usual Shakespearean production that would be held at the Globe. For this reason alone I would strongly recommend you see this production even though it might not chime with everyone.

GeorgeX
Tastemaker

Fresh, diverse, modern Shakespeare! How can that be? Having Emma Rice as Artistic Director of Shakespeare Globe and Matthew Dunster as director what else to expect; Emma Rice, being first time Artistic Director in this theatre, has achieved something trully unique; managed to bring such a huge young/teenagers' audience back in Shakespeark Globe. 

Imogen aka William Shakespeare’s classic play “Cymbeline” renamed, is a whole new approach to the classic play. Matthew Dunster directs in such a modern way, bringing the story to today's urban/crazy lifestyle, making so easy to attend. On the same time, having in the lead role the amazing Maddy Hill you don't realise how quick three hours have passed by. Definatelly recommended (standing tickets from £5!); have a close look to this year's Globe Theatre season; there are even more great plays to come. 

Mimi B
tastemaker

The Globe’s new adaption of Cymbeline copes with their chosen combination of the original Shakespearean English and Adidas tracksuits well. There are parts which are unsurprisingly over-edgy but all was mostly successful, even managing to cope the spiralling end of the play with a farcical aplomb.


Maddy Hill was assertive and thunderous. She performed Imogen with an active sass that none of her fellows could combat. The action was eloquent but at some points oddly rushed where strangely the audience weren’t left dangling but the actors (and at one point, even bits of the set) were by the numerous ropes and ladders intended to exacerbate the drama. The visual impact here was much less than I imagine they’d hoped for, instead it seemed to inform the farce rather than the drama. No one wants a floating greenhouse in the background when in the foreground characters chat war tactics and revenge.  


Acted well and visually intriguing, this performance was undeniably enjoyable- even if in more of a Saturday night TV kind of way than a traditional Shakespearean one. Nevertheless, I don’t think it’s a bad direction for the Globe to explore: cast and audience alike were pumped in a way I’ve never seen Shakespeare achieve. Modernising can be wonderful; the feminist themes this production explored were excellent but it might be potent to note that drugs aren’t the only way in which a modern audience can imagine threat and violence. 

Kishma S
Tastemaker

Even though I knew this was a modernised Shakespeare production I wasn't expecting the explosion of grime and bright white creps that heralded the opening scene which was surprisingly similar to a scene from New Jack City (Wesley Snipes, Chris Rock).


The star of the show is Maddy Hill who is known for her role in Eastenders and although you won't hear any of this language in the Queen Vic, this complex and gripping storyline would not be out of place in Albert Square.


As with all Shakespeare, the story centres around a combination of money, love and power and is complex but very entertaining with bursts humour to break up the tension.


Much of the humour is provided by the excellent Joshua Lacey as Clotten, the violent suitor of Imogen who Lacey plays as a comical wide boy thug in an England football shirt with an arrogant swagger. Imogen herself is portrayed brilliantly by Maddy Hill in a powerful and heartfelt performance as the heartbroken heroine determined to be reunited with her lover even after he has ordered her death. The other stand out perforance for me was William Gint as Arviragus, which is moving and noteworthy, proving that words are not necessarily needed to provide a strong performance.


I found the use of pulleys throughoutthe show to be a great way to give the show added depth, as was the grime/dance soundtrack with the heavy beats creating a charged atmosphere.


As Shakespeare goes this has a happier ending than most and makes for a good evening out but with the running time almost 3 hours be prepared to be a little stiff at the end of the show.

Sam B
tastemaker

"Imogen? That's not Shakespeare..." said EVERYONE that I told that I was going to see the show. No, you're right it's not. Not as you know it anyway. 


Imogen is young, punchy and ifull of twists and turns. A brilliantly youthful cast (led by the AMAZING Maddy Hill) bring some London street energy to the ancient stage. Unfortunately, most of the language is still Shakesperean, which can be a bit tricky to follow. 


As a story update, Kings and Queens are replaced by gang leaders and drug takers... flowing ruffled dresses are replaced by adidas trackies... and the musical accompaniment is grime and hip hop. I just wish the language was modernised a little more too. 


Oh, and top tip - the show is 3 hours long, so do yourself a favour and get a seat on the back row to make sure you last the duration! 


Marco D
tastemaker

An incredible modern twist from the original story of Shakespeare's 'Cymbeline Renamed and Reclaimed'. The attention and the star of the show in this story is Eastenders Maddy Hill who plays'Imogen', Cymbeline's daughter.

It was fascinating to watch, but at the same it felt quite unsettling due to the violence of gangs, drugs and the parts that involved theatrical props with blood which I thought was executed brilliantly.

We see a story of Imogen that suffocates by her fathers aggression. She fights for what she believes in, she fights for the person she loves the most in the world.

Imogen displayed moments of heartbreak and it made me feel incredibly upset. It was unfair how her life started out in these sticky situations.

Mathew Dunster who directed 'Imogen' with astounding energetic performances that cross the London streets of 2016. The sport attire brings the street, rival look that the show needs for today. This time we see that Imogen isn't just a Cymbeline's daughter, but as a character who is strong, fights and doesn't give up for what she believes in.

Bringing Shakespeare's language to today felt quite peculiar with all the sporty, triple striped clothing. It felt real but at the same it felt like it was happening now.

Imogen shines in the right ways. A definite show to experience as it's different from any show I have seen.

The upbeat style with the strong scenes make this a remarkable show.

#TOTastemaker Love MD.

mcuttle
Tastemaker

I've never been to the Globe so was interested to see this play in the rebuilt theatre that sells 700 tickets at £5 every night for people who are prepared to stand for long periods exposed to the elements. We were seated on benches and I must admit, it's not very comfy having no back support for 3 hours. Still the play was an interesting re-imagining of Cymbeline with his daughter Imogen being the main focus here. At first I was worried, as I thought this was going to be some kind of street dance 'yoof' production as they all cam on with slightly shonky robotics moves and rap music playing. Thankfully, when the speaking started, the acting and set design held my interest and there were some great moments here mixed with some moments that didn't work so well. A solo rendition of 'Get Lucky' received smirks at first but then was actually rather touching, and in the 2nd act, a wire work fight scene involving people counter-balancing the actors by climbing up and down ladders was very clever, as was the suspended bed in mid-air using a similar tactic. Shakespeare in tracksuits so to speak, but it's good to see a play with a happy ending!

Reena P
tastemaker

I went to watch Imogen not knowing anything about Cymbeline or the play before. I was so surprised by the whole cast in adidas and Skepta's music in the first scene but in a good way! I knew from then this would be an interesting and fun play. Imogen was a modern urban adaptation of Cymbeline and it was fantastic! A gripping story and excellent acting. The modern adaptation worked really well and I'm glad I went to see it. 


We were seated which was good because it was just under 3 hours and I think I would have got tired standing for that long. The benches don't have a back so the seating can be a bit uncomfortable but I guess the standing option, benches and open air is what makes watching a Shakespeare play at the globe more of an experience! 


Overall a great show I'd definitely recommend going to see! 

kayleighar
tastemaker

When theatre productions try to modernise Shakespeare it can sometimes go one of two ways; the dialogue can be too difficult to follow for those unfamiliar with Shakespeare's works, or it tries too hard to be fresh and contemporary that it comes across as cringeworthy to younger audiences and alienates older generations. After the introduction of drug barons involved in turf wars, a Junior Senior musical snippet and the whole cast heavily kitted out in street wear- there were so many adidas logos on display it seemed they were sponsoring the play- I feared it would be the latter. However, ten minutes in I saw past the triple stripes and was transfixed.


The acting and production were incredible, the play hit a fine balance of delivering the Bard’s tale of passion, drama and humour to appeal to a new modern-day audience. The original Shakespearean Olde English scripting was used, but the cast kept the play current with their costumes, mannerisms and humour, imagine a guy in a tracksuit doing his best gangster walk, while reciting Shakespeare in a cockney accent. The perfectly timed comedic one-liners and impeccable stage presence of every cast member enthralled the whole audience. The play is as dramatic as it is funny, with dark themes of betrayal, forbidden love, mistrust and deceit, the action scenes were brilliantly choreographed and surprisingly brutal.


Imogen is a great play to see in the historic Globe Theatre, centring the focus on Cymbeline’s strong, independent and intelligent daughter instead of the King. It’s not as well-known as some of Shakespeare’s other works so there are no prior expectations or other reimagined versions to compare it to, it’s thoroughly enjoyable in its own right. Believe the hype and go see Imogen for a genuinely entertaining performance, there’s also a little treat from the cast at the end.

JamesBarker82
tastemaker

The energy and passion of this reimagined production of a Shakespeare classic made for a hugely entertaining evening. In collaboration with a group of young Londoners, Matthew Dunster’s modernisation places Cymbeline and his court into a dark 2016 drug subculture. Characters are imbued with modern aggression and the slightly clichéd mannerisms of a gang of street hoodies. Despite the sometimes tenuous connection with the drugs scene, the humour and emotion brought by the actors is entirely fresh and enjoyable. Joshua Crystal’s swaggering Cloten was particularly hilarious, with sharp, comedic timing; a brilliant parody of a modern-day football hooligan. In the title role, Maddy Hill is engaging, charming, and heart-warmingly funny.

After a slightly slow start, the cast quickly warmed up to deliver a range of stellar individual performances,  all contributing to an evening of overall eclectic fun. The signed performance from William Grint as Arvigarus, complemented by Scott Karim as Guideruis and Martin Martez as Belarius, was a first for me in Shakespeare and a great addition. From high octane dance (slightly random) to beautifully choreographed fight sequences and elegant trapeze work, there was plenty to surprise and delight the packed auditorium.

Kirsty S
tastemaker

Shakespeare’s lesser known play Cymbeline gets a modern revamp fit for 2016 that will leave you in awe of the grit and drama acted by the tremendous cast!


A true blend of drama with forbidden love, power struggles and betrayal of all sorts, Imogen, suffocated by family, husband and duty sets out on her own to try and win back the man she loves (who by the way has now vowed to kill her!).  

In  a  strange and unsettled time – where men and the violence of gangs rules the streets, we see a truly raw and vivid story unravel and lets the audience wonder about the nature of power and relationships. Imogen becomes a pawn, not only in a political game played between Britain and Rome (two warring street gangs) but also by her Step Mother, Father and Husband.

The play brilliantly treads the fine line between comedy and tragedy, death and life is teased and what is brought to the forefront of our minds is questions of love, true love and  the consequences these have.

The movement is fluid, the acting is ridiculously amazing and the end applause is inspiring. Shakespeare for a new generation and absolutely worth a see!

Kritt N
Tastemaker

Imogen at The Globe has become one of my favourite production I’ve seen at the Globe. I’ll think you’ll enjoy it too.


To clear things up, this late Shakespeare tale of romance, comedy, and tragedy is actually Cymbeline. It’s been retitled to reflect the fact that the king, whom this play is named after, doesn’t play the biggest part in the story, but rather his daughter Imogen.


What's most striking about Imogen is Imogen’s 21st-century makeover. The stage is awash with fluorescent colours providing an eerie atmosphere. The actors wear modern sports gear.  Rap, grime, and pop music booms around the Globe. The acting was top-class. Fighting scenes are dramatic, well-choreographed with heart-thumping stunts.


The unmistakable charm of every Shakespearean play is still there with it’s old Elizabethan English, gripping plot, and tales of complicated love. But it’s been quite brilliantly adapted to suit a 21st-century audience.


From my-my experience at the Globe, a Shakespeare play often ends with a traditional dance to send patrons off into the night with a spring in their step. With Imogen, there is such dance and boy is it different. You’ll love it though. And you’ll have to book your tickets to find out why.


Top tip: poetic as most Shakespeare plays are, Shakespeare plays are sometimes difficult to follow. Cymbeline isn’t exactly one of Shakespeare well-known plays either so I suggest reading a quick blurb about it first. It makes it easier for you to understand what’s happening onstage.


Imogen is a play that everyone of all ages will enjoy. Imogen breathes new life into Shakespeare and I think even the “cool” kids of today will enjoy it too. 


If you were to watch one play this year at The Globe, make it Imogen.

Ros A
Tastemaker

I should start this review by saying I have an English degree but never made it through my complete works of Shakespeare, so I've never read Cymbeline (aka Imogen). As a result I found it quite wonderful to see Shakespeare without knowing already what's going to happen at the end. Is it a tragedy? A comedy? A god-knows-what? Imogen keeps you guessing the whole way through. 


In this modern twist version, we are shown the story of streetwise  "princess" Imogen, the daughter of drug lord "King" Cymbeline. The plot is tense from the get-go: Imogen's brothers are kidnapped, she secretly marries her childhood playmate, he gambles with a cheeky Italian about her virtue and whether or not it can be broken, someone dresses up as a man, it all goes Pete Tong, nearly comes right, goes Pete Tong again.... you know, the usual Shakespeare shenanigans. 


Expect a banging grime and rap soundtrack, some hard stereotyping and some absolute brilliance. I was completely gripped throughout and would highly recommend this production. The modern spin works incredibly well and I'd go so far as to say it's the best modern day adaptation of Shakespeare I've ever seen. 

chelseadust
tastemaker

My first time at the globe and I got to see this magnificent adaptation of Cymbeline. Imogen had me captivated from start to finish with its UK grime twist on a classic. Kicking off with Boy Better Know but then sticking to the original dialogue for 90% of the play. There were occasional modern words thrown in but it wasn't over the top and they had the crowd roaring with laughter. The action sequences were done particularly well, with the actors not in the scene assisting with blood stains seamlessly. Definitely worth going to see, you'll be blown away and there is a surprise at the end which I won't spoil!

Deon Pillay (theindependentfoodie)
tastemaker

Imogen a great juxtaposition. Imagine Shakespeare's in modern times, gangland wars, drugs and Shakespearean language peppered with gangster speak. A tale filled with betrayal, mistrust and judgement. How will it end, who will gain vengeance, who's blood will be spilt, to love unconditionally or to seek retribution. Book your tickets now to experience this modern take on Shakespeare's Cymbeline . Shakespeare like you have never seen before.