Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night
By William Shakespeare. Presented by Melbourne Shakespeare Company. Central Park Malvern, 148 Burke Rd, Malvern East. 2-17 March, 2019.

This is a comedy based on numerous misunderstandings, misapprehensions and mockery. The Melbourne Shakespeare Company takes all of these elements and creates a dynamic and often hysterical interpretation of Shakespeare’s masterful play with words, disguise and deception. After surviving a shipwreck, Viola (Meg McKibbin) disguises herself as Cesario and enters the courtly world of Duke Orsino (Sami Obama). This triggers a series events that ultimately lead to most of the characters finding true love, but not before creating some mayhem.

Feste (Nicola Bowman) opens the show with some wonderful music and the production adopts a variety of popular songs to echo the emotions of the characters and the strangeness of the events. This is not only expertly executed, but is extremely enchanting. Bowman’s angelic voice and energetic performance style draws the audience directly into this enchanting world and she proves to be a cohesive presence among all the chaos of exchanges and mishaps.   

One of the many highlights of the show is Johnathan Peck’s interpretation of Malvolio, which is nothing short of brilliant. He brings a quaker-like aura to the persona with enormous control of gait and gesture, while maintaining a vulnerability that also makes him endearing. The troupe performs amazing and amusing acrobatic feats and most of the characters are approached in a light and jovial manner. The overall effect is extraordinary.

Patricia Di Risio

Images: Burke Photography

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