Yesterday’s summery evening was perfect weather for outdoor Shakespeare in the gardens at Mona Vale. With our picnic tea we joined a crowd of several hundred seated on the mound lawn to watch an excellent performance of “Twelfth Night” by Top Dog Theatre. This is my favourite of Shakespeare’s comedies, and the one I know best, having seen it performed a number of times over the years, including when Stephen played the Sea Captain way back in Grafton Theatre days. I always find with Shakespeare that the more familiar I am with the particular play the more I enjoy it.
Strong in my memory is a production at the Mercury Theatre. I think I must have seen it more than once, so maybe it was during the time I was an usher there. I remember an especially fine Sir Andrew Aguecheek, who was tall and skinny (?Ronald Qualtrough). Last night Isaac Pawson was superb as Malvolio, although the cross-gartering didn’t quite fit with the other 1920′s costumes.
I was delighted that the cast included three healthy hens who went about their business undeterred by all the goings-on.
“Of all the parts in Shakespeare’s folio
one most delicious is Malvolio.”