Photos Reviews

Twelfth Night

November 2003

by William Shakespeare, directed by Mary Jones


Olivia - Bridget Deasy

Viola - Chloe Bardolf-Smith

Maria, Olivia's maid - Margaret Butt

Fabia, Olivia's housekeeper - Rosemary Whitehurst

Parlourmaid - Rose Gander

Orsino, Duke of Illyria - Christopher Redwood

Sebastian, brother to Viola - Ian Potts

Antonio, friend to Sebastian - Ben Beeson

A Sea Captain, friend to Viola - John Marshall

Valentine, Orsino's valet - Mick Munns

Curio, Orsino's footman - Philip Keen

Sir Toby Belch, Olivia's uncle - Anthony Morris

Sir Andrew Aguecheek, suitor to Olivia - John Young

Malvolio, Olivia's butler - Philip Jones

Feste, Olivia's gamekeeper - Alan Caig

Priest - Harold Revill

Other servants, sailors and policemen - Mick Munns, John Marshall, Harold Revill and Mary Collins

Production Team:

Director - Mary Jones

Assistant Director - Margaret Butt

Design - Philip Keen & Clare Girvan

Set construction - Philip Keen, Ben Beeson, Mike Trout & Toby Mottershead

Stage Manager - Jean Halliday

Lighting - Barry Matthews, Stuart Yerrell and team

Wardrobe - Isla Morgan

Props - Rose Gander & Mary Collins

Sound - Ben Beeson

Original music - Christopher Redwood

Front of House - Sheila Wall & team

Publicity - Jo Holder

Posters - Philip Keen


From Estuary News:

...they were all fused together into a thoroughly professional team...

A Brush With The Bard

This was my third Shakespeare production for Estuary Players, after A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest. My problem was how to find a completely new challenge; my solution was to move for the first time away from the traditional Elizabethan setting and indulge in the dangerous pastime of updating Shakespeare. The initial inspiration was a sudden connection in my mind between the shipwrecked Viola at her first entrance and the figure of Kate Winslett in a life-jacket in the film Titantic!

I saw that treating the shipwreck in Twelfth Night as the traumatic sinking of a great ocean liner would help to explain the strong emotional ties between Viola's twin brother Sebastian and the sea captain who saved his life. Additionally, the master-servant relationships in the play would work well in the context of an Edwardian household and turning the character Fabian into Fabia, a female housekeeper allowed me to add a long-standing feud between her and the butler to the existing tensions in the servants' hall.

The final inspiration was not mine but my husband's; Philip suggested turning the court jester Feste into the gamekeeper, thus adding echoes of Billy Connolly in Mrs Brown to the general melting pot, and with the addition of Music Hall songs and an Art Nouveau set our Edwardian production began to take a convincing shape.

The fleshing out of that general shape into a detailed, coherent whole, demanded hard work, intelligence, sensitivity and co-operation from both cast and crew, and all of this they unstintingly provided. Some cast members were new to the Society, some were new to Shakespeare but by the week of the performances they were all fused together into a thoroughly professional team, and I am immensely proud of them for their outstanding achievement.

For amateur actors to tackle Shakespeare at all can be a daunting experience; my wonderful cast not only created enjoyment in their audiences, they appeared to be enjoying themselves as well. They richly deserved all the laughter and applause they generated - well done, and thank you!

- Reviewed by: Mary Jones


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