Twelfth Night - Theatre Review
Royal Shakespeare Company founder Peter Hall directs actress daughter Rebecca Hall and a rabble-rousing Simon Callow in TWELFTH NIGHT at the National Theatre.
ROYAL Shakespeare Company founder Peter Hall returns to the National Theatre to direct Twelfth Night as part of his 80th birthday celebrations.
Shakespeare’s comedy follows cross dressing Viola, who enters the service of Duke Orsino and falls in love with him while the Duke’s heart is set on a neighbouring countess Olivia.
In a plot laden with jealousy, mistaken identity, cross-dressing, fights and duels, Countess Olivia then becomes besotted with cross-dressing Viola as she presents Duke Orsino’s suits of love.
Peter Hall directs his daughter Rebecca Hall as a somewhat timid Viola, who presents to Olivia with a bashful self-consciousness. Often, this role rewards a more boyish, assertive approach, to make Olivia’s attraction to the cross-dressing Viola more believable.
You may also want to watch:
However, her portrayal serves as a delicate counterweight to the irrepressible Simon Callow, who’s rabble-rousing as Sir Toby Belch offers him an ideal role, of which he makes full and hilarious use.
Interestingly, Hall has stripped the mocking of Malvolio, played by an excellent Simon Paisley Day, of some his humour and, locked in a cage in a stress position, we cannot help feel very sorry for the ill-fortuned courier.
- 1 Historic Archway site set for major housing development after land sale
- 2 Hundreds gather for Tony Eastlake funeral in Islington
- 3 Flooding recovery begins after evening of chaos
- 4 Upcoming Hackney and Islington road and rail disruptions
- 5 Petition begins for reduction of traffic on Liverpool Road
- 6 Emirates to reopen for Covid jabs as council looks to entice residents
- 7 'Extreme' noise complaint as 150 gather for Islington party
- 8 Parkrun returns! Hundreds get back on track across north London
- 9 Statue in Noel-Baker Peace Garden replaced in Islington after 35 years
- 10 New Lidl to open in Finsbury Park's Arts Building next week
As with every Twelfth Night, Feste (David Ryall), the fool, is the unassuming soul of the piece. With wit, perspective, and experience, he alone keeps his head among the mistaken identity and deliberate tomfoolery.
Peter Hall has enthralled crowds for over half a century. Perhaps there’s a little of the fool in him, and a little of him in this world-weary yet defiant entertainer of mankind.
* Showing at the National Theatre, Cottesloe Theatre, South Bank, SE1, until Wednesday, March 2.