A fun, almost farcical version of the Bard’s classic comedy
Presented by The Comic Coterie at the Bakehouse Theatre
Reviewed 23 February 2021
What would a Fringe be without a Shakespeare adaptation? This one thankfully stays true to the sense of the text and the Bard’s language with cuts that allow the story to unfold as intended. The costuming is fun and the characterisations taken, at times, to extremes but the writer himself was not averse to playing some themes tongue-in-cheek.
Our two young twins, Viola and Sebastian, are played by Lia Devetzidis and Kit Cheeseman-Dutton (who look enough alike to be brother and sister). Both believe the other to have drowned and there begins the intricate misunderstanding that is the basis for the plot. The original paly is peppered with interesting people doing many things in the name of love, most are given their head in this.
Other major characters are Lady Olivia (Bianca Facundo) who has also lost a brother and Duke Orsino (Blaed Farnden) who is besotted with Olivia. Then there are the intended comics, Sir Toby Belch (Rohan Whitford), Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Jack Worrall) and everyone’s favourite Malvolio (Josh Langman). All the males are in love with Olivia except Cesario (who is really Viola pretending to be a boy who is in love with Orsino). Added to this mix is the long-lost brother of Olivia, Antonio (Alex Lake) who saved Sebastian, and Feste the Fool (India Smart) who encourages the mischief and Maria the maid (Chloe Short) who tries to calm the pace.
The original is a funny comedy full of twists; this is more of a farce full of choreographed confusion, but it works. For the most part the delivery and understanding of the context of the lines is good and it provides a very entertaining hour. It is not quite what Shakespeare intended but I feel he would probably approve.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Venue: Studio, Bakehouse Theatre
Season: 22 -27 Feb 2021
Duration: 60 mins
Rating out of 5: 4