Twelfth Night Theatre Review
The Bard goes round and round. 400 years later and a new approach to one of William Shakespeare’s more whimsical efforts, Twelfth Night, gives his work more relevance than ever. The witty repartee (after one gets the cadence sorted) still stands out and this time the effort is buttressed by technology and approach.
The staging and set design was a star of the night with a rotating floor that gave the audience an almost voyeuristic view of the proceedings and the incorporation of modern pop songs, compliments of Tim Finn (Split Enz and Crowded House) gave the play an accessibility more in line with a modern audience’s level of appreciation.
The work’s comic take on mistaken identity and misguided love was given with a high energy intensity and more than a nod and wink to the audience. Break down that forth wall. The acting and singing was uniformly excellent with a few stand outs of mention. Christen O’Leary as the sarcastic Malvolia delivered her lines with a wicked sense of glee and using multiple part harmonies were useful to bury the less strong voices while delivering Finn’s catchy choruses. Also having a live band on stage both playing and interacting with the rest of the cast was a novel and successful idea.
Bringing Shakespeare’s work to a modern audience (with a proclivity to high levels of bombast and low levels to nuance) means now more than ever a unique approach is needed. Twelfth Night breaths life into the Bard’s output and will hopefully lead to extended periods of relevance.