Bold, imaginative, challenging – thatâ€™s the concept behind Wils Wilsonâ€™s new version of â€œTwelfth Nightâ€ which opens the new season at the Lyceum Theatre in a co-production with Bristol Old Vic.
With stage setting and colourful psychedelic costumes designed by Ana Ines Jabares-Pita and original music by Meilyr Jones, this production has taken the play by its conventions and given it a few smart twirls.
The genders have been well and truly bent, with hero Orsino played by Colette Dalal Tchantcho, Toby Belch becoming Lady Tobi (played in a manâ€™s suit by Dawn Sievewright), and Joanne Thomson taking the part of Sebastian. Add in the confusion of cross-dressing identical twins who look nothing like each other and we have acting in its truest sense, with belief well and truly suspended.
Christopher Greenâ€™s Malvolio is a high point: he is magnificent as the bowler-hatted servant turned hair-tossing rock god after donning his cross-gartered yellow stockings. The music too is generally enjoyable, and Dylan Read is a likeable and puckish Feste. There is however rather a disjointed feel about the play-within-a-play format.
Itâ€™s meant to be a fun, house party take on â€œTwelfth Nightâ€ but the overall effect is more Upstart Crow than Shakespeare. It is also unfortunately too long.
Lyceum Theatre until October 6th before transferring to Bristol.