Twelfth Night review from 2005

  • Genre: Comedy
    Opened 6 June 2005
    Written: By William Shakespeare
    Directed: Timothy Sheader
    Cast: Desmond Barrit (Sir Toby Belch)
    Synopsis: Viola and her twin brother Sebastian are shipwrecked during a storm. Each thinks the other is dead. Viola disguises herself as a boy, Cesario, and enters the service of Duke Orsino. The Duke sends Cesario to woo lady Olivia on his behalf. Meanwhile Malvolio is the subject of a cruel joke leading him to believe that lady Olivia loves him, but she has fallen for the disguised Viola whilst Viola is in love with her new master!

    What the critics had to say.....
    SAM MARLOWE for THE TIMES says, "This is a production that excavates every last glittering doubloon of the play’s buried treasure." ADAM SCOTT for THE INDEPENDENT says, "The setting - an outpost of the Spanish Empire - brings out little in the play, particularly when so many of the characters remain irredeemably English....Although not without engaging moments, it is, in the main, an evening of such missed opportunities." LYN GARDNER for THE GUARDIAN says, "Subtlety and open-air theatre are not natural allies, but there is a complexity about Timothy Sheader's production - a genuine understanding of the play's gender politics and its erotic undercurrent - that works very nicely here. With a hot-blooded, Spanish colony setting working in its favour, up until the interval this promises to be an exceptional Twelfth Night; if the promise ebbs away after the break it is because the production fails to sustain its energy, and some of the unevenness of the casting becomes an irritant." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "This is a production that warms the heart if not the extremities. It also features one of the strongest ensembles I have ever seen in the park."

    External links to full reviews from popular press
    The Guardian
    The Independent
    The Times
    Daily Telegraph

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