‘Shake’ is a highly unusual production based on William Shakespeare’s well-loved play Twelfth Night, hosted by the Lyceum Theatre, and performed in French with English surtitles.

There was some brilliant acting which, in the context of the parody, perhaps rendered the surtitles superfluous. The set consisted of a structure of ‘beach huts’, allowing for the slapstick of characters rushing in and out, banging doors whilst reprising, in some cases, their dual roles. Also on stage was a table, set with a white cloth and fruit and drink.

Vincent Berger gave a bravura treatment to the characters Sir Toby/Sir Andrew where Viola/Sebastian were the dual roles of Delphine Cognord. The lovely Olivia was played by Valerie Crouzet and Orsino/Malvolio by Antonio Gil Martinez. The cast was completed by Geoffrey Covey as Festo. Perhaps intended to shock, the pouring of a fire bucket full of water over the  body of his/her character did not add a great deal to my personal enjoyment and the audience seemed unsure whether or not to laugh. (This was the afternoon performance and I can’t imagine from where the players would find the energy to repeat the whole performance in the evening).

The Director, Dan Jemmet and his team (greater in number than the actors) certainly made sure there was no pause in the action. Dan is an associate artist of Maison des Arts Thonon-Evian. In fact, the two hour production without an interval was perhaps too long, given the deliberately chaotic atmosphere – constant banging of the ‘beach hut’ doors punctuated by loud music and the unexplained introduction of a puppet and puppet master, reminding one of a Punch and Judy show.

I remain unsure whether a previous knowledge of the more traditional rendition of the complicated, often humorous as well as amorous, Twelfth Night would be an advantage or not…

To sum up, this was a most unusual performance based on a well-loved original play. It was, undoubtedly, a brave and indeed bold experiment, giving an entirely new look to one of William Shakespeare’s best-loved plays, in the 400th anniversary year of his death.

The was a co-production of Theatre de Carouge – Atelier de Geneve, Theatre National de Nice. Centre Dramatique National Nice Cote d’Azur and Maison des Arts Thonon-Evian. It was first performed at the Theatre de Vichy,Lausanne in 2001. Production was by Eat a Crocodile with Delegated Production by Le K Samka.



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Christine Richard OBE FRSA Christine has over 25 years' experience in public life in Scotland in the fields of politics, education, public relations and charity work. For 12 years she served on the City of Edinburgh District Council and was her Group's leader for 4 years. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1992 she was made an OBE. Christine is a member of the Board of The Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy. She has just completed six years on the Board of The Edinburgh International Festival. Christine's business experience has covered the fields of theatre, economic development, science, coal mining, education and training. She has held a number of non-executive directorships in these disciplines. She is a trained and experienced personal relationships counsellor and a business and personal mentor. In 2005 Christine established Christine Richard Associates who undertake Event Management and Public Relations as well as company and individual profiling. She coordinated the 'Yes to Edinburgh' campaign on congestion charging in Edinburgh. ten years ago Christine co-founded West Lothian Women in Business, which is a network for women who are self-employed and also for women managers. Christine has now stepped down from the Chair of this thriving organisation. For 5 years Christine was a magistrate in the District Court. She was also a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on the appointment of Justices of the Peace. She has been an adviser to Government in various areas of policy, including health, local government and education. Christine is a trained and experienced radio and television broadcaster and writer as well as an entertaining and accomplished speaker. She has a wealth of topics on which she is invited to speak. These range from witty after lunch and after dinner speaking to the more serious topics of the economy, health, education, enterprise, the Powers of the Mind and Life/work balance. She writes reviews and articles for lifestyle magazine, Lothian Life. She took part as a contestant in an ITV gourmet TV show, Chef V Britain, challenging TV chef Gino D'Acampo to cook her signature dish, Posh Cottage Pie. Currently Christine is a member of the Goodison Group in Scotland and Scotland's Futures. Also she is involved in the group Changing the Chemistry of Scottish Boards. Her first novel, Whitewalls, a modern Scottish family saga has been published by New Generation Publishing and is available on all internet books siets and from libraries. She is writing a sequel Autumn at Whitewalls. Her leisure interests include her family, literature, music, theatre, food, wine and horse racing. She is a member of a racing syndicate, which has two horses in training.

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