Tuesday, February 13, 2007

'Twelfth Night' by William Shakespeare

13 February 2007

"If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it ..." In 1884 Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' was the first production at the new Royal Theatre in Northampton. 123 years later it is the latest offering from Laurie Sansom in his first season as Artistic Director of the newly refurbished Royal Theatre - now restored to its Victorian splendour. Sansom's 'Twelfth Night' opens the Royal's 'Love & Madness' season, emphasising the fine line between the two by having Malvolio incarcerated in a straitjacket. It is a solid, straightforward production including some well-choreographed physical comedy and movement and some fine performances from the women - Rebecca Grant, Lucy Speed and particularly Natalie Walter as Olivia. But it lacks the stunning innovations we have come to expect from the Royal - especially in the sets and design. "... For the rain it raineth every day."

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