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Twelfth Night at the Sheffield Crucible

Published by: Paul Tyree on 28th Sep 2014 | View all blogs by Paul Tyree


Twelfth Night


Twelfth Night opens at the Crucible theatre in a solid if not spectacular interpretation of Shakespeare’s comedy.

Telling the story of how Viola and her twin brother are shipwrecked and separated, their fortunes at an all time low, Viola decides to disguise herself as a boy in order to enter Orsino the Duke’s service. She is immediately attracted to the Duke but he is infatuated with Countess Olivia who has decided to swear off the company of men for the time being. She does however find herself attracted to the Duke’s new ‘boy’ and so begins another of Shakespeare’s famous cross-dressing comedies.

This production has much going for it. The direction is excellent as well too is the staging. As with all productions, however, it really does come down to the performances of the actors to really make it memorable, and it is here that the production does falter at times.

On the plus side Brian Protheroe as Feste stands head and shoulders above the other performers in bringing a real sense of wonder to the stage. His performance is not simply professional but he seems to exist in this world in a way that many other of the actors do not. There is a real authenticity to his performance which other actors would do well to learn from. Milo Twomey as Sir Andrew Aguecheek is also excellent and Rebecca Johnson as Olivia has a striking grace and quality to her work.

It is a shame then that performances such as these are undermined by others that do not match their dizzying heights. Rose Reynolds as Viola and Jake Fairbrother as Orsino are both very competent but at the side of others their lack of experience shows and suddenly we have two actors that can be seen to be ‘acting’ rather than ‘being’.

Twelfth Night is one of those plays where a single character can shape the audiences response to it and in this that character is always Malvolio. Get a good Malvolio and audiences will be happy, get a bad one and no matter how others perform it will remain disappointing. Here, Hugh Ross as Malvolio is competent but does not seem to bring anything to the part. We feel nothing for him and therefore feel little for the play itself. It is, as he is, competent, but nothing more.

Playing until Sat 18th Oct

Paul Tyree

Tue 30 Sep7:30pm£23.00*Book TicketsWed 1 Oct2:00pm£18.00*Book TicketsWed 1 Oct7:30pm£23.00*Book TicketsThu 2 Oct7:30pm£23.00*Book TicketsFri 3 Oct7:30pm£25.00*Book TicketsSat 4 Oct2:00pm£18.00*Book TicketsSat 4 Oct7:30pm£25.00*Book TicketsTue 7 Oct7:30pm£23.00*Book TicketsWed 8 Oct2:00pm£18.00*Book TicketsWed 8 Oct7:30pm£23.00*Book TicketsThu 9 Oct7:30pmTalkback£23.00*Book TicketsFri 10 Oct7:30pm£25.00*Book TicketsSat 11 Oct2:00pmCaptioned£18.00*Book TicketsSat 11 Oct7:30pm£25.00*Book TicketsTue 14 Oct7:30pm£23.00*Book TicketsWed 15 Oct2:00pm£18.00*Book TicketsWed 15 Oct7:30pm£23.00*Book TicketsThu 16 Oct7:30pmAudio Described, Signed£23.00*Book TicketsFri 17 Oct7:30pm£25.00*Book TicketsSat 18 Oct2:00pm£18.00*Book TicketsSat 18 Oct7:30pm£25.00*Book Tickets



Contact Us

Telephone Numbers
Box Office: 0114 249 6000

Crucible/ Lyceum Theatre Switchboard: 0114 249 5999


Sheffield Theatres Trust
55 Norfolk Street
S1 1DA





1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 3 years ago
    Thanks, Paul. An isightful review.
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