Twelfth Night (1983): Northumberland Touring Company
PrTwelfth Night (1983)
CAST INCLUDED: Kenneth Gardnier (Feste); Suzette Llewellyn (Viola); Geoff Oldham (Sir Andrew Aguecheek); Alan Partington (Sir Toby Belch); Anthony Phillips (Sebastian).
Information about this production taken from reviews; information incomplete. [The director is named in the reviews as Martin Troughton, but on Suzette Llewellyn's Spotlight page as Martin Houghton, so both names are currently attached to this entry until a third source is located].
"Twelfth Night's latest transplant is to a tropical island in the twilight of empire and it works a treat. The shipwrecked twins are played by coloured actors (Suzette Llewellyn and Anthony Phillips) and this enables the Northumberland Theatre Company's director Martin Troughton to add a dimension of racial harmony to the play without detriment to the text. Even more successful is the casting of the West Indian actor Kenneth Gardiner as the clown Feste. Never have I heard Shakespeare's language, even the nonsense, sound so melodious. Of all the cast, the relocation in a colonial island does most for Malvolio. Here is the very prototype of the stuffy colonial official, all brilliantine and short back and sides. His drooling over the forged love letter, expressed with blissful self-satisfaction, sent a thrill of delight over the packed audience at the Northumberland Hall....The direction is consistently sensitive, resourceful and even ingenious. In the circumstances it needs to be, with makeshift theatres, unraked auditoriums, unpredicatble acoustics, no proper stage or dressing room and a change of venue nearly every day. Yet out of these unpromising combination comes a superb Twelfth Night." ~ Richard Kelly, "Twelfth Night: Alnwick", The Guardian, 7 September 1983