Thursday 6th July to Saturday 8th July and Wednesday 12th July to Saturday 15th July 2017
Directed by Jacquie Penrose
Twelfth Night is a comic tale of disguise, of love lost and won, of mistaken identities happily resolved. Shakespeare's play is enduringly popular, and as this production is set in the 1920s, we are promised an evening of comedy served with a delicious helping of glamour.
This play was staged at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre (formerly Havant Arts Centre), East Street Havant - Bench Theatre's home since 1977.
|Sir Toby Belch||Sue Dawes|
|Sir Andrew Aguecheek||Phillippa Thorne|
|Fabian (now Flavia)||Daisy Dawes|
|Sea Captain||Jeff Bone|
|Curio (now Curia)||Faye Williams|
|Officer 1||Faye Williams|
|Officer 2||Andrew Caple|
|Entourages for Orsino's and Olivia's households||Alan Welton, Elowyn Chapman|
|Assistant Director||Janice Halsey|
|Stage Manager||Maurice Lillie|
|Set Design||David Penrose|
|Lighting Design||Andrew Caple|
|Sound Design||Jacquie Penrose|
|Lighting Operation||Simon Walton|
|Sound Operation||Mark Wakeman|
|Costume Design||Di Wallsgrove|
|Programme Editor||Derek Callam|
|Flyer Design||Pete Woodward|
|Songs written by||Archie McKeown|
|Front of House Manager||David Penrose|
It looks gorgeous on David Penrose's rich but simple set and there are some stonking performances, but in a play that revolves very much around one of Shakespeare's two favourite plot devices - girl-dressed-as-boy - the cross-casting of women as men in some of the masculine roles was a bit bewildering, particularly Leigh Cunningham as Sebastian. I'm not sure I got that. That's very much a subjective point of view and it must be said that Miss Cunningham does a fine job as Sebastian. There’s good work, too, from Ben Tanner, as the besotted Orsino and Archie McKeown as Feste.
I've not seen McKeown before; he's also responsible for the specially composed music, playing the guitar and singing the songs. And he does it very well. Acting-wise he's got his eye in, but needs, perhaps, a little more control. Alice Corrigan, flashing that gorgeous pre-Raphaelite hair to wonderful effect, is beautifully in control as Olivia and Vincent Adams is your ticket-money with his Malvolio. He manages the bombast without overplaying and the pain and embarrassment following the trick that is pulled on him is agonisingly real.