From: Tuesday, 18th December 2001
To: Saturday, 9 March 2002
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Or What You Will. Shakespeare comedy of mistaken identity, practical jokes and unrequited love. Rescued from a shipwreck the twins Viola and Sebastian arrive independently in Illyria, both thinking the other is drowned. Viola disguises herself as a boy and finds employment with the Duke who is in love with Olivia. Malvolio is the subject of a cruel joke played on him by Sir Toby Belch (yellow stockings cross-gartered) leading him to believe that Olivia loves him. But Olivia has fallen in love with the disguised Viola, while she is in love with the Duke (following it so far?!).
4 January 2002
Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare's most scintillating comedies - although one would not know it from Lindsay Posner's funereal production. In truth, there is a degree of melancholy in the play, but this production wrings out every last, dark drop of it, so that the comedy is almost a light relief.
This production is set in the Edwardian era. But this is not the Edwardian era of unbridled hedonism and golden summers - this is a truly dark world. The programme notes refer to another side of the Edwardian age, the herald of the war, of social upheaval and fascism. Such an interpretation would make sense; the play delights in subverting class differences and proposing a world where the servants can become masters. But there's no hint of that in this production. In fact, this is about the most deferential a bunch of servants that one can imagine. Rather than the anarchy of a world turned upside down, we are presented with unremitting gloom.
The first scen...
Latest User Review
USER: Whatsonstage.com - 21 January 2002:
A really rotten boring ponderous and tired production, which turns a brilliant fast paced comedy into a dreary and half hearted tragedy. Lindsay Posner has tried to be clever by bringing out as much tragedy as possible, but instead has robbed the play of all life. British Touring Shakespeare is doing Twelfth Night at the Westminster at the moment, which I though I would go and see to get a comparison - boy what a difference! - and on a fraction of the budget! The RSC would do well to go along and learn how to make Shakespeare come alive!...
Guy Henry (Malvolio)
Alison Fiske (Maria)
Christopher Good (Sir Andrew Aguecheek)
Mark Hadfield (Feste)
Ben Meyjes (Sebastian)
Joseph Mydell (Antonio)
Barry Stanton (Sir Toby Belch)
Jo Stone-Fewings (Orsino)
Zoe Waites (Viola)
Matilda Ziegler (Olivia)