Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Our Man in London: Twelfth Night

I would like to introduce a new blogger to my site. He reaches the parts that antipodean bloggers can't reach - i.e. he gets to go to theatre in London. As I get several irreverent text reviews from him that always make me laugh, I thought I would share them with you. So, without further ado...

Twelfth Night at the National Theatre, London

On a Tuesday morning in a non-Tory world I would be working, but thanks to cut backs I am just working part-time and can sneak off to the theatre. I might have to vote Tory from now on.

Twelfth Night has recently begun a stint on the small stage at the Royal National Theatre and sold out quicker than it takes Andy Gray to crack a sexist joke. But today there was a single returned ticket. Simon Callow and Rebecca Hall directed by Sir Peter Hall in a theatre which holds about 250 people sounded like a no brainer. My Plan B was to watch a live broadcast of it in the Anatomy Theatre and Museum at King’s College. This had two obvious bonuses: (1) if the production was as dull as some of the reviews claimed the venue might be a distraction; and (2) free booze was promised for half time.

I don’t recall attending a mid-week matinee play before. From my vantage point it was a sea of white hair and by halfway through the play gentle snoring. Strangely the bar was also closed.

From memory Twelfth Night is meant to be one of Shakey’s romcoms. I can’t be sure that all of the cast were aware of this. Orsino (Marton Csokas) certainly seemed to think he was performing in a tragedy. His delivery was flat throughout and he also seemed to be unaware until Scene V that he was meant to have the hots for Viola (Cesario when cross-dressing). Initially I thought I was being unfair on him because of his mullet (Chambers Dictionary mullet definition: short at the front and sides, long at the back, and ridiculous all over), but then I found out he is a Kiwi. I can of course draw no conclusions from the latter observation.

The rest of the cast…Simon Callow as I think would be expected was great and completely at home with the part. The moronic Andrew Aguecheek (Charles Edwards) was also a treat. And from all accounts Finty Williams’ Maria was not as good as this Blog’s host’s performance of that role last year.

I have noticed that Shakespeare and Blackadder have started to overlap in my mind. I was sure that the plot for Twelfth Night had similarities with another Shakespeare play. Initially I thought it was A Comedy of Errors, then I realised that Cesario/Viola is actually Bob/Kate from the second series of Blackadder.

Adieu…from Our Man in London

1 comment:

Kate Blackhurst said...

Love the review - please don't start voting Tory. It would be the end of the world as I know it.

Thanks for your endorsement of my performance as Maria, but being as no one will ever see the two, we'll never be able to legitimately compare...

Kate x