I’m seeing this show next weekend! Couldn’t be more excited! Who has seen it already?
Two performances – Samuel Barnett as shipwrecked gentlewoman Viola and Mark Rylance as Lady Olivia – make this Twelfth Night essential viewing. Even people who aren’t particularly into Shakespeare are likely to enjoy Rylance’s multicolored and often hilarious portrayal (although most of his best stuff comes after the intermission, trust me). This Twelfth Night may not be as definitive as the Richard III it alternates with; the fact that it is the more enjoyable evening overall is a measure of how great the play itself is.
Twelfth Night has long been my favorite of Shakespeare’s romantic comedies. In it, Shakespeare takes love between people of the same sex very seriously — all you have to do is look at the character names. The play follows the romantic adventures of Viola and her identical twin Sebastian, both shipwrecked in the enchanted dukedom of Illyria.
Viola is a poetic name for the…
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