Shakespeare's Globe

Cymbeline [2012]

Written by: William Shakespeare
Directed by: Joseph Abuk & Derik Uya Alfred
Translated by: Joseph Abuk

Part of the 2012 Globe to Globe Festival.

Performed in Juba Arabic by the South Sudan Theatre Company, from Juba, South Sudan.

In April 2011, after more than 50 years of violent struggle, the Republic of South Sudan became the world's newest country. The South Sudan Theatre Company's Cymbeline, the first ever adaptation of Shakespeare into Juba Arabic, draws on the performance traditions of the horn of Africa. Led by renowned writer Taban Lo Liyong, the adaptation draws on local accents, modern slang and myth, to create a show that resonates with contemporary life and politics in South Sudan.


Cymbeline, King of Britain when Augustus Caesar was Emperor of Rome, has a daughter, Innogen, and two sons who were stolen in infancy. The queen, his second wife, has a son, Cloten, whom Cymbeline wishes Innogen to marry; but she has secretly married a commoner, Posthumus Leonatus. Cymbeline banishes Posthumus to Rome, where he meets Iachimo, who wagers with him that he can seduce Innogen.

Arriving in Britain, Iachimo realises that she is incorruptible, but, hiding in her bedroom, obtains evidence which convinces Posthumus that he has won the wager. Posthumus orders his servant Pisanio to kill Innogen at Milford Haven, but instead Pisanio advises her to disguise herself as Fidele, a page; in Wales, she meets her brothers, who were stolen twenty years before by the banished nobleman Belarius.

Cloten pursues Innogen to Wales in Posthumus’ clothes, determined to rape her and kill Posthumus. Instead, he is killed by one of her brothers, and his decapitated body laid beside Innogen, who has taken a potion that makes her appear dead. When she revives, Innogen/ Fidelejoins the Roman army, which is invading Britain as a result of Cymbeline’s failure to pay tribute to Rome. Posthumus and the stolen princes are instrumental in defeating the Roman army. A final scene of explanations leads to private and public reconciliation.

Rent or Own this production on the Globe Player.


  • Designer Stanslaus Faida
  • Designer Joseph Deng
  • Designer Moeis Joseph


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