‘Twelfth Night’ is a black hole; it sucks you in

Bri Heath

On September 6, The Old Globe Theater held a performance of “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare. Their version of “Twelfth Night” takes place in the late 1950’s, in Italy, a town referred to as “Illyria”. It features the central character, Viola, after being rescued from a shipwreck. In order to work, she disguises herself as a man named Cesareo. Soon after, she gets a job working for a man named Orsino and falls for him. However, he asks her to run to Olivia, and tell her of his love for her.

Viola tries to obey, but instead, winds up having Olivia fall for her. In the midst of this, Maria (Olivia’s assistant) and Toby (Olivia’s uncle) plot to make Malvolio(Olivia’s butler) think that she loves him. Maria, whose handwriting is similar to Olivia’s, writes letters to him giving instructions as to what he should do for her. A comical example of this was a scene in which he sports yellow stockings and men’s garters, and smiles like a madman.

The acting done in this play was impeccable. Dana Green, who played Viola, stole hearts. She did an excellent job of portraying Viola’s difficulties of falling for Orsino. Also, she made the idea of a woman falling for a woman disguised as a man realistic. The play made no suggestions that it had any problems with homosexuality – but more played on the lines of how someone would act in Viola’s place. If anything, the actors make the situation of Olivia loving Viola more hilarious than Shakespeare may even have intended.

Orsino is played greatly by Gerritt VanderMeer, and, as the play goes on, it is apparent through a heartfelt moment between the two, that he has subconscious feelings for Viola. However, thinking her a man, he pushes her away. She, of course, does not dare believe he could truly like her, knowing that he sees her as a man. This also, of course, creates not only a touching scene, but a funny one, since in the background are Orsino’s workers.

Eventually, everything is brought to light when a man named Sebastien shows up and throws an anchor in everything. The only person who did not have a happy ending was Malvolio – who went mad, and swore his revenge, not only on the tricksters, but the others as well.
Best of the night was Aubrey Saverino, who played Maria. It’s usually harder to bring life to a non-main character, but she made hers shine without stealing the limelight.

The performance takes place in the summer playhouse – meaning that, while there are walls and flooring, there is no roof and the sky is the backdrop. The seats weren’t the most comfortable, and it was a bit cold, but still worth it.

The set was beautiful from the moment the audience walked in, with the stairs and garden gate covered in pink flowers. Special effects were great in the beginning, making a boisterous thunderstorm, but didn’t continue much the rest of the play.

Even with this, I would recommend this play for anyone – especially those looking for love and lots of laughs – and as to the end of the play – well, as Shakespeare would say, “All’s Well That Ends Well”.