The sun was shining and the humour was flowing, absolutely blown away by this production of Twelfth Night. Wasn’t sure what to expect upon arriving in the park in the afternoon on a 30 degree day, I was wonderfully surprised – the show was fantastic. Melbourne Shakespeare company is amazing, they blended perfectly the old with the new in this modern adaptation of Twelfth Night making this unique performance one to remember. Surprising the audience with some recent songs to tie in to the show perfectly, bringing fun, comedy and smiles to all.
Setting the tone with some modern music that leads in to Imagine Dragons – Thunder to perfectly portray the storm. Viola, after finding herself shipwrecked off the coast of Illyria, unsure of what to do after fearing the death of her twin brother she crosses paths with a sea captain who assists her in finding work with the Duke (Orsino) to do this she disguises herself as a man names Cesario.
Cesario quickly becomes a favourite of Orsino, she falls for him – he is blissfully unaware of her femininity and his heart belongs to Lady Olivia who is in mourning after the death of her brother. Orsino sends Cesario to deliver a love message to Olivia at which point she falls for Cesario believing her to be a man. In the meantime after upsetting some of Olivia’s household they decide to play a trick on Malvolio (Olivia’s Steward) by making him think that Olivia had fallen for him, after making him dress up and make a fool of himself she sends him away.
Meanwhile we find out that Sebastian survived the shipwreck and has arrived in Illyria accompanied by Antonio (a friend), being mistaken for Cesario ends up being challenged to a duel by Sir Andrew (who has noticed Olivia’s attraction to him), at which point Olivia arrives on the scene confusing Cesario with her twin brother. Olivia asks Sebastian for his hand in marriage (thinking he is Cesario), he says yes and they quickly take their vows.
Orsino and Cesario take the trip to Olivia’s, who welcomes Cesario as her husband this does not go down well, Orisino is furious. Luckily Sebastian appears and is reunited with his sister who has had to admit all isn’t as it seems and she is Viola, a beautiful women who Orsino instantly falls in love with.
The production finishes off with a fantastic rendition of Shania Twain’s ‘Man I Feel Like a Woman’ it was the perfect end to such a wonderful and unique adaptation of Twelfth Night.
Unfortunately due to unforeseen reasons, the season has been cut short. It’s such a shame as the team did a fantastic job and everyone should have the opportunity to experience Melbourne Shakespeare company! Stay tuned on Melbourne Shakespeare Company for upcoming shows.
Reviewed and written by our guest writer – Keelie Allen
Photo credit: Burke Photography.