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Titchfield Festival Theatre Bard at the Barn season: Twelfth Night

Posted: 14th August 2019

Love,” said the Ancient Greek philosopher, is a journey in search of our lost other half.”

The final production in this summer’s 2019 Titchfield Festival Theatre Bard at the Barn season sees the welcome return of Twelfth Night. Although this is the third performance by the theatre, it is the first at the historic Great Barn.

Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s most popular romantic comedies and a celebration of romantic love, also featuring one of his legendary characters – the crude and jolly Sir Toby Belch. This production however comes with a twist as it is set in the 1950s, complete with music and period clothing.

Viola and her twin brother Sebastian have been shipwrecked off the coast of Illyria. Each believes that the other has been drowned. Disguising herself as a boy called Cesario, Viola enters the service of the duke Orsino. The Duke sends Cesario to woo the lady Olivia on his behalf but Olivia falls in love with this lovely ‘boy’. Viola, meanwhile, falls in love with Orsino. The play takes us on a giddy exploration of many aspects of love in which characters are forced to lose themselves in order to find themselves again in ways that are both very funny and touchingly poignant.

The play is co-directed by Franchesca Nicholson and Lauren Monckton and is a lead directorial debut for them both. Franchesca said, “We decided to set Twelfth Night in the 1950s with the actors dressed in clothing from the era and accompanied by 50s music. The play follows the traditional Shakespearian script; however the more contemporary setting will help the audience to better understand the story and that they will really appreciate the great humour and fun that is a particular hallmark of this play.”

Lauren added, “As soon as I saw Twelfth Night performed at The Globe Theatre in London and when the theatre offered me the opportunity to co-direct, I had to seize this chance! It is a lovely story, full of various love triangles, same sex relationships and explores both gender and sexual identity. The addition of 50s music will give the whole production a really upbeat feel.”

This year the play will feature five members of the local Titchfield Youth Theatre – some of whom are performing in an adult production for the first time – as well as new and more familiar and experienced faces.

Twelfth Night opens on Tuesday 27th August with performances continuing until Thursday 5th September. The Sunday matinee is on 1st September and starts at 2.30pm.

For more information, please go to http://titchfieldfestivaltheatre.com/or contact our Box Office on 01329 556156.