Swivel Theatre's Twelfth Night
They've only gone and set it in Morocco.
We were on safer ground though, with Swivel Theatre Company’s production of Twelfth Night at The Cockpit Theatre. Firstly, it’s a comedy. Secondly, the confusing part (about the twins and disguises and stuff) is much easier to understand now we’re in an era where girls are allowed to play girls, so it’s quite easy for us to tell the difference between a girl “twin” and a boy “twin”. Also, it was really bloody good.
In case it wasn’t on your GSCE English syllabus, Twelfth Night tells of a girl who gets shipwrecked, assumes her twin brother is dead, dresses up as a boy to get a job, falls in love with her boss, inadvertently lets her boss’ crush fall in love with her, then ends up in a whole world of confusion when her brother shows up again. The greatest characters, though, played exceptionally well in this production, are those secondary to the main plot; Feste, the fool, Sir Toby, Maria, Andrew Aguecheek – the ones whose gang you’d want to be part of.
Set in Morocco, the play is given a new level of warmth, plus a lesser-known location to base our suspended disbelief in (because, let’s face it, the storyline’s a wee bit silly). The performances all bubble with character, getting laughs from Shakespeare’s verse that we’d never heard before, and turning an enormous performance space into an impressively lively and inclusive setting.
Wonderful musical interludes, rich, captivating characters and affordable ticket prices make this new twist on an old classic your best fringe theatre production option this month. There are better ways to be entertained at the weekend than reality TV, it turns out.
Twelfth Night is on at The Cockpit Theatre until the 18th March. For more information and tickets please see the Cockpit Theatre website.