Shakespeare South Australia
Carrick Hill
Until 08 Jan 2022

Review by Chrissy Gow

Carrick Hill plays host to Shakespeare South Australia’s interpretation of “Twelfth Night”, and what a stunning location indeed. On entering, the audience is met with the splendid lute playing of James Logan. The glorious gardens, together with the haunting music, provide the simplistic set which establishes the tone for the afternoon’s performance.

Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s most performed plays, and South Australia’s newest Shakespeare company’s interpretation is fun, fresh and encompasses the years of experience of both performers and creative team.

Twelfth Night centres around twins, Viola played by Melanie Munt and Sebastian played by David Daradan, who are separated in a shipwreck. Viola disguises herself as a man while working for the Duke Orsino, played by Shedrick Yarkpai. Orsino, in turn, is in love with Countess Olivia, played by Alys Daroy.
What follows is a fast-paced romantic comedy, with numerous interwoven plots of mistaken identities, practical jokes and love. Much of the play's humour derives from the enthusiastic portrayals by Michaela Burger as Feste, Kate Van der Horst as Mariah, Paul Westbrook as Sir Toby Belch and David Daradan as Sir Andrew Aguecheek who constantly torments the yellow stocking wearing Malvolio, admirably played by Michael Baldwin, with drinking, joking, singing, tomfoolery and high kicks.

Highlights would have to be Michaela Burger’s portrayal of Feste, including her hilarious representation of the French captor of Antonia played by Britt Plummer. Also, Paul Westbrook and David Daradan, who are a wonderful light-hearted comedy duo, providing the audience with much physical comedy and clowning.

Throughout the performance, the audience is entertained by enthusiastic cast members actively engaging with them, with much adlibbing and audience participation. Due the outstanding cast performances, audience members are unquestionably entertained, irrelevant of their level of understanding and experience with Shakespeare’s text.

This review would not be complete without a round of applause provided to the superb and artistic vision of the creative team, comprising Britt Plummer, Jess Clough-Macrae, Michaela Burger, Sam Dugmore and Alys Daroy.

Each multi-award-winning performer brings not only outstanding credentials but also superior talent, coupled with the exceptional artistic flare of the creative team. I eagerly look forward to attending their next performance.