BWW Review: TWELFTH NIGHT At Pop-Up Globe, Ellerslie, Auckland
Pop-up Globe's 'Twelfth Night' is a rollicking wild tale of clever comedic calamity aimed to provide entertainment for the masses. It's bright and funny with many unexpected twists and turns.
Watching the groundlings interact with the cast on Saturday night was heartening. Young people fully engaged and wanting more - eager to participate in all the goings-on. Yes!
Frivolity, flippancy and folly hit the mark with the full audience despite Auckland turning on it's coldest and windiest weather that could have easily distracted and derailed. But the weather was no competitor for the waves made from leaf blowers, the stylised french sailors, the twist on topiary hedges, the stunning costumes (Valentine's was my new all time favourite ever) and the general tomfoolery highlighted within this great yarn of disguise and dissipation (whether calculated or heart-felt)
The high energy production maintains elements of the traditional and the themes of gender, deception and duality, melancholy, madness and the desire to love are all there amongst the clever quirks and quips added to draw in modern day audiences. Bravo.
The feast of Twelfth Night, from which the play gets its name, was a time when social hierarchies were turned upside down. Shakespeare picked this up and ran with it and Pop-up Globe's creative team have run that bit further illuminating the homoerotic subtext with a humour that sits well with today's crowds.
Talking of subtext the trick played on Malvolio is played up and duly gets attention, becoming 'more' than the original script. It does not distract. Jonothan Martin's portrayal was excellent and his crowd interactions won
approval with the audience, even those that he abused and taunted. He morphed from proper to desperate dropping all airs and graces to win the heart of Olivia (Sheena Irving)
The conniving Maria played by Kate McGill gives the audience just enough to grab interest and she toys with them beautifully until her motives of naughtiness are achieved - a marriage proposal from Sir Toby (Peter Hambleton) who favours fun over obligation to the social conventions. He's great.
We are lovers of Pop-up Globe and are very grateful to have it in our very own city.
The work that has gone into making Shakespeare accessible and entertaining to the masses must be acknowledged and honoured as it has indeed been a huge task and a great hit.
It was great to see Rebecca Rogers back after the summer season of Measure for Measure and Hamlet. She's made for Shakespeare.
Music has always been a feature of Pop-up Globe performances but it was notable just how clever it was this time. The musicians literally kept the beat and the pace of the performance. They were fully immersed staying on stage almost entirely throughout the performance. Accolades to all involved in both composition and performance.
We've had Shakespeare in the dark, Shakespeare in the park, High School Shakespeare, serious Shakespeare but this is the first that we've had Shakespeare in the Brrrrrr cold. Significant other is easily annoyed by the elements and will flick off if a performance does not come right to his seat. He was involved from start to finish.
Go early and enjoy the outdoor ambience along with the mulled wine and winter warm up food.
Until 25th August