Top Dog Theatre has produced an open air Shakespeare at Mona Vale every summer for 13 years, and we’ve seen them all. This year’s production is “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, Shakespeare’s first play, which I’d never read. I was glad I made the effort to download a synopsis beforehand. Without that I might have had difficulty understanding just what was going on. The cast did well, and the language was easily understood, but it was strange not to recognise famous lines as I usually can with Shakespeare. The action was interspersed with familiar songs from the 1960s (which matched the costuming), and I wondered whether these had been added to make it all seem more familiar.
We went to a matinee performance and chose to sit in the shade, but it soon grew cold and windy. During the interval a number of people moved to sunnier spots.
This is a rare opportunity to see one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known comedies, and definitely worthwhile.
“No folk we know like Desdemona
among these people of Verona.”