★★★★★ | Twelfth Night

If Adventure Time were to come up with an episode of Twelfth Night, what was seen last night, created by Filter theatre company, would be what you would see. A lunatic, ‘filter-less’, bold and a surprising production that literally got you on your feet playing with balls.

CREDIT: Pr Supplied
CREDIT: Pr Supplied

Nerves start to unsettle when one gets an invitation to watch ‘another’ production of Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare. But those were soon soothed when we walked in to The House of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre to come upon what looked like a set for a band. If one could sum up Filter’s creation, it would be: ‘A Shakespeare Rave’. My leg certainly didn’t stop bobbing up and down to the music.

The quadruple –threat cast multi- part and multi-instrument played with energy that was coming from the power sockets. Electric like no other. Harry Jardine, who played Orsino and Aguecheek must have got his muscles from the rehearsals, for he was continuously running, summersaulting switching characters so efficiently that one would get dizzy after a few blinks of an eye. Effortless performance and Harry still managed to speak in blank verse to an excellent standard. Ferdy Roberts, who redirected Twelfth Night alongside Oliver Dimsdale, played Malvolio to a degree of mastery. The ‘don’t-know-what-you’re-going-to-get’ type actor kept the audience on their toes, as Ferdy sauntered around as Malvolio capturing the danger of the character. At the same time, rocking out with his air guitar solo, and stripping off to his yellow stockings which capitalised the ‘b’ of bold. Dan Poole as Toby Belch was hilarious and had comedic timing down to a ‘t’. Olivia Darnley who played Olivia was funny and charming, and did formidably well in the scenes where she tried to seduce the male characters. All in all, everyone had an incredible talent that brought the show alive, ingredients of which have led me to see this as my favourite Twelfth Night production I have ever seen!

The highlight for me was when Harry as Aguecheek asked/made me get on stage with the rest of the cast. He did this because I missed his Velcro cap when throwing the ball at his head. So, Harry kindly allowed me another chance, but I missed again. In the end I had to wear a cap like his to which the audience were given balls to throw at us. I loved it! This tour should be a sell-out and where dates need to be bolted on for more to see!

Twelfth Night plays at The Birmingham Rep until the 16th April 2016, 0121 236 4455

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