I'm a little behind (again) with reviews but this time I have two excuses - I came home from seeing this play and immediately developed nasty cold and then since feeling better Blogspot seems to have caught the same bug and hasn't really been playing ball as I've tried to post!
Twelfth Night was my fifth trip to The Globe this season and was the fourth and final 'new' play in the 2012 "The Play's the Thing' season. It was again an all male cast being led by Mark Rylance.
Like all of the plays I've seen at The Globe it was very,very good. The characters were brilliant and the whole piece worked well as an ensemble. I had been concerned that because Stephen Fry was in the cast that it would become a celebrity love fest for ten audience or that, because of his inexperience, the play would be dumbed down in some way.
I needn't have worried. Fry played up to the standard of the rest of the cast and like in all good plays I managed to forget who the actor was and just see the character. I'm not so sure that this was the case with all of the audience but I believed him as Malvolio.
This was another play that I was only vaguely aware of the story line in advance but this time I did find it harder to lose myself in the experience. This is no criticism of the actors/set/location just my personal reaction I feel - perhaps because of the germs that had yet to manifest themselves visibly?
As with Richard III this play is transferring to a traditional West End theatre in a few weeks and (perhaps) because of this the performance did seem more static than I'm used to at The Globe. This meant that due to the theatre shape and location it was hard to hear some of the lines when the actors weren't facing you, a problem that will be solved indoors with traditional seating.
I thought the confusion (as written by Shakespeare) of men playing women playing men was very well done (although some of the cast were more convincing that others!) as was the tender confusion of falling in love with what seem like the inappropriate choices. In these scenes this was by far the most romantic Shakespeare play I've seen.
This sounds like a negative review and my experience on the day was far from this, but I wasn't quite as buzzed leaving the 3hr+ play as I have been from the others this season. It was probably my least favourite Globe play this year but still in my top 10 of plays seen...and while I won't be rushing to see if I can get tickets for the West End transfer I wouldn't dismiss the idea of seeing it again. Who knows how much the cold I didn't know I had influenced my viewing!