I usually stay well away from modern Shakespeare productions but I had heard great things about the North Wilts Theatre Company and was drawn to the comedic themes and iconic characters that Twelfth Night presents.
From the very start of this performance – the all-singing, all-dancing and all-male cast blew the audience out of their seats with their incredible stage presence and fantastic characterisation.
Each actor made speaking the complex lines of Shakespeare look easy – their lines trickled off their tongues so eloquently the dialogue became completely comprehensible and the audience were allowed the simple pleasure of absorbing themselves in the action. And action we got.
Twelfth Night tells the story of ten characters who find themselves on the mystical island of Illyria where their paths cross and tangle.
Through the trickery, disguise and foolish games that the characters play on each other – identities are turned upside down and feelings are turned inside out – until eventually the truth has to be revealed and morality reinstalled.
This twisted plot is the perfect tool for visual comedy and a way of poking fun at human nature and the world we think we know so well. It also raised interesting questions on the timeless and universal themes of sexuality, love and identity.
The North Wilts Theatre Company delivered an excellent adaptation that was both true to the original play and a modern production in its own right – an achievement not easily acquired.
Don’t like Shakespeare? Go and see this performance and then ask yourself the question again.