With its excellent acoustics and cabaret-style seating, The Space makes an ideal venue for Chris Chambers’ music hall-style production of Shakespeare’s popular comedy. Embracing the festive spirit of the piece, each of the cast play instruments or perform popular music hall numbers and many songs that feature in the play are given this treatment too.
There are some great performances on show, notably that of Andrew Venning as Feste, granted a much more central performance here as a Master of the Revels of sorts.
Andrew Goddard as Sir Toby, Taniel Yusef as Maria and Christopher Mark as Sir Andrew are the focus for the comedy in this play and their cruel taunting of Michael Good’s dour Malvolio is as sad as it is funny. Kristal Sisodia is a strong, forthright Viola but her relationship with Steven Rostance’s Orsino seems only meagrely explored.
The boldness of the performances is not matched by Lizzy de Courcy Wheeler’s design, which looks weak and rarely matches the confidence of the cast. Pierre Gouverneur’s lighting lends atmosphere on a budget and Mafalda Cruz’s
video projections throughout the play enhance rather than detract from the
Chambers’ production, which transfers first to Hoxton Hall and then Middle Temple Hall, site of the original production in 1602, is engaging, amusing and remarkably fluid.