So, having dealt with my moment in the spotlight, do we care about the rest of the review? Oh all right, quickly then. Using their technique that heavily relies on clever sound effects, Filter and director Sean Holmes focus entirely on the play's party atmosphere, the bare stage littered with instruments, sound boards and cables. As well as being the food of love music becomes some characters' inner monologue, while Ferdy Roberts' Malvolio becomes a frustrated rock star, the infamous letter causing him to strip to his underwear and writhe around the stage. The approach certainly works better here than it does to Chekhov, and there's a lot of strong performances (I really liked Gemma Saunders doubling as Maria and Feste.) Only 6 actors plus a couple of musicians on stage means some doubling and a lot of characters excised completely (the play's cut down to 90 minutes.) Some things work better than others, and there's some genuinely hilarious ideas thrown into the mix, but as with Three Sisters I did get the feeling that Holmes & co were a bit impressed with their own cleverness (the programme includes the rather preposterous credit "Created by Filter." "Adapted" I could buy but "Created?") Don't get me wrong, it is a lot of fun to watch, but I couldn't help thinking it looked like the actors were having a wee bit more fun than the audience ever could.
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare is booking until the 29th of May at the Tricycle Theatre.