Twelfth Night

Bell Shakespeare, 2010
Photo by Brett Boardman for Bell Shakespeare.
This is the production I credit with showing me just how beautiful and heartbreaking Shakespeare can be, the production with which I ‘got’ Shakespeare on stage. Lee Lewis’ Twelfth Night was set in the aftermath of the recent Victorian bushfires; the characters emerged out of the blackness, exhausted and covered in soot, and proceeded to tell each other a story, assuming the identities and roles of the characters in Shakespeare’s play. Set around a giant pile of clothes and cardboard boxes – a refuge centre, we assumed – Lewis delighted in the playful theatricality of disguise, the simple answers to switching identities at the drop of a hat, and the joy and aliveness was never far away from the very tangible sorrow and heartbreak that sits at the core of all Shakespearean tragedy. Ending with a beautifully effervescent dance to Katrina & The Waves’ ‘Walking on Sunshine,’ it was hard not to be moved by the panache, verve and relish in theatrical delight with which the production revelled.