Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare, directed for Slip of the Tongue
Theatre Company by Alec Forbes.
Where: Hamilton Garden Rhododendron Lawn.
When: Monday and Friday.
Reviewed by: Hilary Falconer.
Summer Shakespeare has been performed in the Gardens for about a decade,
but this year's Hamilton Gardens Festival has given the event a wider
The resulting large audience for a hot and sticky Monday night show were
rewarded with open air Shakespeare at its best _ clear and carrying voices,
simple symbolism and the edge of idiocy needed for one of Bill's loopy
Twelfth Night is relatively user-friendly Shakespeare, but the cast and
direction make things even easier by managing the fine line between a
pace you can follow and one that still keeps the action moving.
Sophie Hakaraia as Olivia has the rare ability to banish stuffiness and
deliver Shakespeare as if it were a sit-com script - the lines are Elizabethan
but the attitude and inflection is 1998.
David Sutcliffe's Malvolio is a truly damaged man - wonderfully obsequious
Russell Raethel and Mark Houlahan enjoy themselves enormously as Sir Toby
Belch and Feste the Fool, providing the energy vital for outdoor theatre.
Another faultless performance by Alida Steemson as Viola/Cesario is theatrically
complemented by the physical similarity of Abigail Clare as Sebastian.
The atmosphere was also enhanced by a small but effective chamber ensemble,
to provide a medieval soundtrack under musical director Peter Caldwell.
One of Shakespeare's most
well-loved comedies. Sir Andrew Aguecheek gets humiliated and tiddly...