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If music be the food of love, play on…. Why the most captivating night is always The Twelfth.

13 Dec

TWELFTH NIGHT (or WHAT YOU WILL)

If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die. [Orsino- Act 1, Scene 1]

How many of us are in love with the idea of being in love? Does this make us deluded and pitiful, or focused and passionate? When faced with the one who really does need and want us, how long would it take before we realise this fact? Some of these questions are raised within the first few moments of Twelfth Night, as Orsino pines for a love that is self-induced, with a woman he had yet to meet. Yet a real love comes into his life in the most unexpected (and frankly ludicrous) way. But, then again, it often does.

This is a timeless tale of siblings shipwrecked on an exotic coast, that examines love in all its wonder, beauty, confusion, pain, madness and passion, and features one of the most famous love triangles in literature. A totally bewitching story of love and laughter, madness and mayhem, cross-dressing and cross-garters, Twelfth Night is also a role call of the most memorable characters in English drama – Malvolio, Toby Belch, Andrew Aguecheek, Feste and Viola. There is a delicate balance between romance and realism, and a fascinating exploration of sexuality and gender roles. You think Shakespeare has nothing to offer the modern world? Oh, think again! The version I saw was performed at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton, and although it was not a modern dress version, was evidentally as accessible as any modern play.

1996 film version of 'Twelfth Night'

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