Shakespeare’s Globe’s Twelfth Night

You may have heard about the contest I’m offering until midnight tonight where After the House Lights readers could enter for a chance to win two tickets to see Shakespeare’s Globe on Screen’s Twelfth Night. I had the chance to watch a preview performance of the show and really enjoyed being able to see performances recorded at Shakespeare’s Globe. When I was briefly in London earlier this year I wanted to see a play at the Globe, but our schedule didn’t allow it. So, it’s awesome we’re able to see Shakespeare’s plays on (a replica of) the stage they were written to be performed on, even though that stage is over 6,800 kilometres away.

Edmonton has a really strong Shakespeare tradition, so it was really interesting to compare Shakespeare’s Globe’s performance to what we get to experience in Edmonton. What struck me first was how well Edmonton’s theatre community has modernized Shakespeare’s classic scripts. In watching Freewill Shakespeare’s performances every summer since I moved to Edmonton, I knew that the company modernized the performances with costumes, mannerisms, casting, and little additions to the script. Thou Art Here Theatre does this too, but also re-imagines the performance space and creates shows that I find totally revolutionary and engaging, especially for new audiences. In a town where we have so many opportunities to see performances of Shakespeare’s plays, it’s wonderful to be able to compare more traditional and modernized interpretations of the Bard’s work.

Here’s a preview of the performance:

A few things I noticed:

  • The gorgeous traditional costumes and set, which are reminiscent of traditional Shakespearian garb.
  • The all male cast – the first I’ve ever seen.
    • Although I know women weren’t allowed on stage in Shakespearian times, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Shakespearian performance with an all male cast. While the costuming, makeup, wigs, and acting are all good, it certainly lends a different dynamic to the performance and made me reflect on the portrayal and perception of women in the eighteenth century.

Twelfth Night is one of my favourite plays by Shakespeare. I’ve experienced a number of incarnations of Twelfth Night – the text, Freewill Shakespeare’s performance of it in 2011 and, of course the 2006 movie adaptation She’s the Man. I thought the Shakespeare’s Globe performance perfectly captured the hilarity in the piece. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at the tricks Maria, Sir Toby, and Sir Andrew play on Malvolio. At the same time, I don’t think I’ve ever been so made emotional about Malvolio’s plight. While other productions focus on the tricksters, Shakespeare’s Globe’s production did a great job at showing how cruel and damaging their actions really are.

Shakespeare’s Globe’s Twelfth Night will be at Landmark Cinema in City Centre Mall on Saturday, November 15. You’ve still got two more hours to enter the contest by either tweeting at me or leaving a comment on this article with your favourite line from one of Shakespeare’s plays! Tickets for all Globe on Screen performances are $12.99 for adults and can be bought on Landmark Cinema’s website.

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