Twelfth Night (1997): National Theatre, NT Education Touring Production
PrTwelfth Night (1997)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Raquel Cassidy (Viola ); Elizabeth Hopley (Olivia ); Faroque Khan (Sir Andrew Aguecheek ); Mark Lacey (Malvolio ); Rebecca Lenkiewicz (Viola ); Joseph Lewis (Malvolio ); David Rubin (Sebastian, Feste ; Sir Toby Belch ); Chris Ryman (Sir Andrew Aguecheek ); Len Trusty (Orsino; Sir Toby Belch); Brigid Zengeni (Olivia );
This production originally toured in the UK from 3 Feburary - 2 May 1997. It was then apparently revived from 12 January - 27 March 1998, again touring to UK schools. Information in the NT Archive does not provide a cast list for both productions, so casting information may not be complete and is not able to confirm all cast changes between the two productions; the dates are given where known.
"The first half of the evening will be an introduction to the play and its characters, allowing the audience to meet the actors and to explore the themes with the director. The rest of the evening will be given over to the promenade performance."
~ Evening Echo (Southend, Castle Point, Rochford), 16 January 1998
"A seven-strong company means luxury for workshop purposes; as a cast it requires interesting economies - the Church of Illyria clearly accepted women priests long before the Anglicans. Pruned to 105 minutes, Brigid Larmour's production makes no case for this play of two contrasted main locations. But there are fine moments. 'Take away the fool', with Feste almost carting Olivia off, shows that lady is clearly closer to Feste than Malvolio in spirit, if not in clothing. And her increasingly flamboyant apparel (including a tight low-cut leather number as she smooches up to Cesario) echoes this life-loving appetite. So does her delight at the idea of meeting Cesario again, a joy that leads her to embrace Malvolio, no doubt reinforcing the steward's later hopes. There's some good humour designed to stir interest in the more reluctant youths who, groundlings to a man, respond to the drinking songs, joining in on a rhythmically complex 'Hold thy Peace'. Later the audience makes for a convenient box hedge as Malvolio reads the fake letter, by which time most are won over."
~ Timothy Ramsden, Times Educational Supplement, 21 March 1997
"I've never seen a production of Twelfth Night that truly captivated the spirit of the play in all its moments of fun, romance and poignancy. The sincerity of the acting, the lively style of presentation and sheer wish for the audience to enjoy it made it unforgettable. How was this possible? By every bubbling energy, not a whisper of pretension and by talking and acting sense and feeling."
~ Barbie Davies, letter to Dursley Gazette, 18 April 1997
"A sparkling cast invited members of the audience to join them in singing, dancing, clapping and crowd scenes. Those who accepted the invitation had been put through their paces in a special workshop beforehand. The actors brought Twelfth Night...vividly to life in a performance reminiscent of the medieval mystery plays, during which actors and audience became one in a rich tapestry of give and take."
~ Theresa Robson, Clitheroe Advertiser and Times, 8 May 1997