Monday, August 24, 2009

'Twelfth Night’ by William Shakespeare

24 August 2009

We made a final visit to this year’s open-air Shakespeare in the gardens of Woburn Abbey last Friday to see ‘Twelfth Night’ performed by The Lord Chamberlain’s Men. It was an excellent production with an exuberant all-male cast holding the attention of a large audience as the sun sank. Seeing the female parts played by men (as they would have been originally) strangely seemed to make more sense of the conceit of girl dressed as boy – perhaps because here the emphasis of the actor playing Viola as ‘Cesario’ was to persuade us that he was female, whereas a female actor has to convince us that Viola is sufficiently masculine to pass as a boy. I’m not sure whether that makes sense but it worked and was a thoroughly enjoyable evening with Shaun McKee as Viola and Joe Marsh as Olivia particularly impressive and Tom Micklem’s Feste had a great singing voice.

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