We're just about midway into rehearsals for CYMBELINE, and really the play is giving me a second youth (others might say I never left my first childhood). As usual, exploring a Shakespeare play, especially one you have never done and don't know, is like going into a cave that keeps opening into other rooms (and a cave figures prominently in this play). You think you have arrived and then another room beckons. As usual, Shakespeare is playing tricks with us. He introduces us early on to his hero. He is modest, poor, manly, gentle and much beloved, as we are told again and again. He is the perfect fairy tale hero, despite that odd name of Posthumus. Not a romantic name. Posthumus and Juliet? Maybe not. But he is much beloved of his lovely bride, Imogen, who only has eyes, heart and soul for him. So far so good. But then watch Posthumus carry on: he makes a rash bet about his girl, which he is tricked into thinking he's lost--as a result he puts out a contract on his unfaithful wife, and has her murdered. Or so he believes. Then later he feels really badly about this, so badly that he wants to die--which he plans to do fighting, first against the Britains, then against the Romans. When he finally openly confesses his guilt and crimes, he is absolved by his wife--whom he promptly smacks to the ground. This Posthumus is a dangerous character--clumsy, impulsive, violent and not very bright. In fact he looks quite a bit like his foil and opposite, Cloten, the "harsh, noble, simple nothing" of the play--they can wear the same clothes, and actually do. And yet, Shakespeare is not finished with his tarred and much tainted hero--at the very end of the play Posthumus for once acts just as he should, as we hope he would, and for the first time appears to be a prince indeed. Too little too late? Decide for yourselves. It's only one of the many mysteries awaiting you way out west in Ancient Britain, soon arriving at Rock Ledge Ranch.