Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night
By William Shakespeare. The Carving Theatre Company. Directed by Jayde Kirchert. Dec 6 – 8, 2013.

This youthful company should be applauded for creating their own opportunity to showcase their talents. The performances and direction were confident from this group of largely VCA graduates.

Gareth Prosser’s performance as both Orsino and Sir Andrew Aguecheek must be mentioned. He switched effortlessly between roles and gave each character a very different physical presence. Evan Lever as Malvolio commanded attention with both his controlled physical and vocal performance.

A delightful addition to the performance was the inclusion of a troupe of musicians who provided both background music and the occasional song. The music by Chris Beasley matched the tone of the play beautifully and the highlights were the songs performed by Nelson Gardner (Feste).

Staging a play in a long thin bookshop created some difficulties which were not always overcome. The audience was seated in 2 rows along the length on one long wall, and the action took place over the rest of the shop including a stairway to the 2nd floor. This meant much of the time some actors were facing away from a portion of the audience, making comprehension of the text sometimes difficult.

Comprehension was also an issue during some of the scenes between Sir Toby Belch (Simon Alderman), Maria (Isabelle Reynaud) and Sir Andrew. The combination of slurring words while “drunk” and rapid dialogue while running around made some of the plot difficult to follow.   

Lighting was very basic. The existing shop lighting was supplemented with a small number of LED cans attached to the roof and table lamps on the central shop counter. Unfortunately one of these was shining directly at some of the audience for most of the play making it hard to watch some scenes.

Costuming by Marc McIntyre was beautifully executed, inspired by  late Victorian fashion, with the upper class men in all whites or striped blazers in pastel shades or checked suits, while Feste was dressed very reminiscent of a certain famous film pirate. Olivia was splendid in tailored jackets and full length skirts while Maria appeared in a gypsy inspired costume.

The talent of the members of this company is obvious and I am certain in the future we will see their names in theatre programs and film credits.

Shirley Jensen 

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.