Review: Twelfth Night, Blue Elephant

“What happens in Illyria, stays in Illyria”

Last year you couldn’t move for productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and whilst it hasn’t quite gotten that bad yet, it looks like Twelfth Night is 2017’s popular choice. The National and the Royal Exchange have already tackled it, Emma Rice will be casting her inimitable spell over it from next month and over in Camberwell, the Original Impact Theatre Company are working their own actor-musician magic on Shakespeare’s comedy.

And you have a sense that Rice would approve of the invention of this young company, particularly in its opening half. This is Illyria as expat territory – tropical house blaring from the decks, tropical prints blazoned across shirts, “to beer or not to beer” is scrawled on the back wall, there’s even the suggestion that the opening shipwreck is a booze cruise gone wrong. And it is in this world of stunted responsibility that the production finds real purchase. Continue reading “Review: Twelfth Night, Blue Elephant”