Skip to main content

Twelfth Night

Perth Theatre
4 stars
A new wind has blown into Perth, just as it does in Shakespeare's
Illyria. That's the accidental message anyway during the opening storm
scene of the theatre's incoming artistic director Rachel O'Riordan's
debut in-house production. Because, in something usually played as a
knockabout rom-com, Riordan sets out her store from the start by
blowing away such surface froth to reveal near-Chekhovian depths.

Much of this stems from an update to a post World War One Scotland in a
crumbling petrol-blue house where a baby grand piano sits at the top of
an elaborate staircase. Here Conor Mitchell's Curio sips cocktails
while whipping up a jaunty Palm Court style soundtrack with violinist
and fellow gent Valentine. That's about as fizzy as things get,
however, as all involved wander about in a kind of shell-shocked limbo,
trying to re-connect with some sense of purpose.

Samara MacLaren's brittle, flapper-like Olivia and Martin Ledwith's
brooding Orsino are so wrapped up in themselves they don't even notice
that Laura O'Toole's exiled Viola is masquerading as a man. Even Steven
McNicoll's de-mob happy Toby Belch crashes around with a wounded anger,
his late-night roustabouts with John Paul Hurley's Aguecheek and
teasing of Tom Marshall's pompous Malvolio positively pathological.
Andy Hockley's Feste, meanwhile, sporting fez, waist-coat and white
beard, looks like an over-grown monkey who's lost his organ-grinder.

By mixing up Scots, Irish and Welsh accents, Riordan's reading suggests
a fractured set of countries, each one isolated by their losses. Only
when Viola finds her twin Sebastian does any kind of unity occur. Even
then, Feste's final song is a solitary lament, both for his lot and the
times he lives in.

The Herald, October 3rd 2011

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Michael Rother - Sterntaler at 40

"There's so much to do," says an uncharacteristically flustered Michael Rother. The normally unflappably beatific German guitarist, composer and former member of Neu! and Harmonia, who also had a stint in a nascent Kraftwerk, is packing for live dates in Russia and the UK, including this weekend's show at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow.
"It has always been my choice to take care of these things myself and not have a manager," he says. "Somehow for me the independent aspect of doing things is really important, but it has its disadvantages."
As well as playing selections from Neu! and Harmonia, the trio he formed with Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, Rother's Glasgow date will see him play a fortieth anniversary rendering of his second solo album, Sterntaler, in full. Rother will be accompanied by guitarist Franz Bargmann and drummer Hans Lampe, the latter of whose musical involvement with Rother dates back to Neu! days, …

Giles Havergal - CATS Awards 2019

Giles Havergal has always been the perfect host. During his thirty-odd year tenure as co-artistic director of the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow, Havergal would be there in the foyer on each opening night, meeting and greeting with an old school charm that came to define the Gorbals-based emporium. While many directors prefer to duck out of view, only meeting their public once the first night stresses have subsided, in contrast, Havergal seemed joyously unfazed by such things. Only when he was acting in a show was he absent from his task.
All of which makes Havergal the ideal choice as guest presenter of this year’s Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland, the ceremony for which takes place at Tramway in Glasgow this Sunday afternoon. This year’s awards see a smorgasbord of productions and artists from the last year’s crop of home-grown shows celebrated by Scotland’s theatre critics in its annual ceremony.
With winners announced on the day, nominations include Birds of Paradise and the Na…