CYMBELINE Rehearsal Diary: Will Popplewell

iach blog

Here are a few thoughts from Pembroke Fresher Will Popplewell, who is playing Cloten in next week’s production of Cymbeline.

10 days to put on a Shakespeare? No pressure!

The Pembroke Players are putting on the annual Freshers’ Play from the 19th to the 22nd of February. This year, we are performing Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, which is coincidentally the set text for second year english students! As if you needed an excuse to come…

We’ve been rehearsing frequently since Saturday (Laura and Charlotte, director and producer, just haven’t slept) and we’ve almost finished plotting all of the scenes individually. That said, at this point no-one knows their lines, so there’s plenty left to do. Laura came up with a fun concept, which gives the production a nice twist – but if you want to know what this ‘twist’ is, you’ll have to come and see it! Of course, the real reason we added this concept this was to give the english students some interesting material for their ‘performance’ question in the exams – we are the gift that just keeps on giving.

We’re all really looking forwards to performing the show, and I reckon after a good weekend of running and line-learning we’ll be a bit more confident in ourselves! It’s a great mix of tragedy and comedy, and in general the play has great potential to properly entertain an audience. Of course, by universal acclaim, the best character in the play is Cloten, your standard jealous villain. Coincidentally, that’s who I’m playing – lucky me, I get a properly disturbed monologue! Genuinely, though, the cast are all talented actors and will deliver the lines with passion and precision, if not the right words… Hopefully I’ve stressed the lack of line-knowing enough by this point that, when you come and see the show next week, you’ll be happily surprised by our mind-blowing capacity to memorise Shakespeare quickly.

If not, Shakespeare got it right when he wrote:

“Come, gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.”

To book tickets, email

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