Twelfth Night (2001): Liverpool Playhouse
PrTwelfth Night (2001)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Stephen Beresford (Sir Andrew); Priyanga Elan (Viola); Ian Gelder (Malvolio); Ewan Hooper (Sir Toby); Chu Omambala (Orsino); Claire Price (Olivia); Lalor Roddy (Feste).
This production ran from 1 - 17 February 2001.
"What does it feel like to fall in love? There are moments in James Kerr's production - set in a stormy, damp Ilyria - that capture the lurch of the stomach and the tingle down the spine so intently and so violently that you know exactly. It is the next best thing to falling in love yourself....Kerr and designer Colin Falconer give it a clean and thoroughly modern feel. The bleach-boarded stage stays bare almost throughout, and curtains telescope up and down at the back to reveal thunderstruck skies or patches of blue horizon....The best scenes almost always involve Claire Price's wonderful Olivia, a big-boned beauty who rejects Orsino's advances only to be caught off guard by love....There is some under-casting, but Priyanga Elan's Viola grows in confidence and she has the ability to really hold an audience when she is perfectly still."
~ Lyn Gardner, "Twelfth Night", Guardian, 7 February 2001
"James Kerr's modern-dress production is minimalist, dark, plodding and entirely unmagical....Viola (Priyanga Elan) is a smug young woman, humourless and insipid. Orsino (Chu Omambala) is attractive enough, but has the psychology of a fashion model....The verse speaking is monotonous and innocent of all irony. Kerr seems entirely unaware of the social side of the play. Sir Toby (Ewan Hooper) is like a home-counties publican...Sir Andrew (Stephen Beresford) is only a lower-middle-class businessman. Claire Price's Olivia could be a bit more upmarket, but I liked this generous, promising performance: a peach on heat." ~ John Peter, Sunday Times: Culture, 11 February 2001