The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1377  Tuesday, 21 May 2002

From:           Sophie Masson <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 21 May 2002 21:39:10 +1000
Subject: 13.1359 12th Night at Stanford
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1359 12th Night at Stanford

Speaking of productions of Twelfth Night, I just recently saw a
production by the Railway Street Theatre Company of Sydney(Australia)
which came up to our regional university town (Armidale, northern NSW)to
perform it. The setting had been transposed to 1942 Townsville,
Queensland, with a mixture of armed forces types, from different places.

Malvolio was played by a young man who looked like an outback dandy,
complete with leather gloves, perfectly pressed moleskin trousers, crisp
shirt, big hat. When he first appeared, I thought, oh dear..But actually
he turned out to be very good, the self-love aspect of Malvolio to the
fore rather than the pomposity(though that was there too--and maybe
pomposity is just a symptom ofself-love?). A different view of Malvolio,
but I felt it worked. The scene in the garden when M. finds the letter
was absolutely hilarious, glorious slapstick.

The most daring thing though was that Sir Toby Belch and Feste were
played by the same person! When they were supposed to be in the same
scene, the actor, Peter Kowitz(a very experienced actor)coped really
well, substituting a hat using ventriloquism, and in the end making us
feel that the Lord of Misrule personage was just split in 2 between Sir
Toby and Feste.

All in all, for me, it was a very good night. The only thing I missed
were the songs--the original Elizabethan ones which I love had been
removed and 1940's songs (of a similar feel and theme)put in their
place. The part of the audience which was over 60(and this was a very
mixed audience with at least a third being young people) loved that, as
they obviously recognised the songs. After the first shock, I thought
they fitted quite well--though I still missed Hey ho the wind and the

Has anyone else on this list seen this production as it has toured
around NSW?

Sophie Masson
Author site: http://www.northnet.com.au/~smasson

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