Sunday, 21 February 2010

Twelfth Night (The Marlowe Society, Cambridge)

Anna visited for 24 hours and we fit in a Shakespeare Double Bill. We started with The Marlowe Society's production of Twelfth Night, a play that we both knew well from the 1996 movie starring Imogen Stubbs, but had never seen on stage. The Marlowe is the sort of acting-only version of the Cambridge Footlights, the guys on stage were all studying Oriental Sciences and whatnot, ie this was student theatre. But this was big-budget, amazing set, proper acting students. They were bloody good. Well, they were a bit blah to begin with as always with Shakespeare once you were into it it seemed to get better and better.
The concept was a little creepy though, they seemed to have taken the madness theme and decided to set it all in a flood-damaged sanitarium of some sort and because of this creepiness the whole tone of the ending changed and though it was funny throughout the ending was NOT funny, it was very unnerving. Bit it was still a comedy at heart, the bit that got the biggest laugh was when Orsino still could not tell the twins apart and professed love for Sebastian at the end. The visual gags and the staging was excellent AND the songs and dance were really good!
Josh Higgott as Sir Toby Belch, Patrick Walshe-McBride as Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Oliver Soden as Malvolio performed excellent characters, Sebastian (Jack Monaghan) was also cute. I mention these student-actors because this company has a tendency to churn out future-fames, let's see if they make it.

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