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Christine j from Newcastle upon Tyne
Loved this production. I knew very little about the plot but was soon engrossed despite wooden seats. Can’t recommend enough.
Adam Sutcliffe from London, England
ECLECTIC MIX OF STYLES REALLY GELS IN JOYFUL STAGING
Don't be put off my the discarded tyres, wreck of a pick-up truck, tumbleweed and badlands vibe that dresses the stage - this is a production which shines a glorious light on the text and brings out every character as fresh and real - and contemporary - in front of our eyes. The infectious humour of Sir Toby Welch and his (her) late night drinking party had the whole audience clapping along and laughing - and within moments we are moved by Caesario's torn emotions, laughing at Malvolio's hilarious reactions to the faux billet doux, and altogether enraptured by the fantastic flow of this ever-popular play. At a touch over two and a half hours it is a long sit on hard benches without an interval and whilst I loved the gentle text-expanding pacing at the start our backsides were paying for it by the end.
Julia Brookes from London, England
A MALVOLIO BEYOND ALL OTHERS
Despite a weak Olivia, (which means a few dreary conversational scenes with Cesario that you really just can’t wait to have over), this production sparkles and roars and has a Malvolio who perfectly combines dignity and pathos and malice. A Malvolio who is us. The production also has one strange, irreplaceable, invisible player: the genuine spirit of theatre.
Anne Neville from London, England
A STRANGE COUNTRY FRIEND
This a strange Illyria. Tumbleweed, corrugated iron sheets, piles of old tyres, a crashed van and a neon sign welcoming us here which does not light up till near the end when someone replaces a bulb. I for one could not see what the relevance all this had to the play but fortunately the wonder that is 12th Night was undiminished by it. With many key roles played by women rather than men, such as Malvolio and Sir Toby, the play still pleases. There were some delicious comic moments such as when Orsino turns to Cesario at the end, only to realise he’s got the wrong twin. Costumes were a strange mix, with Orsino in modern, almost biker mode, Feste, in baseball hat and jogging pants while the twins were in full Elizabethan. Accents were also a strange mix with Italian , Scottish, Irish, West Country; all the world was here. The audience loved it and clapped and stomped through songs.though I missed the gentle melancholy of “The rain it raineth every day” as Shakespeare moves on to his tragic phase. There is much to admire in this strange Illyria however so wend your way there. .
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