Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Twelfth Night

Andy Barrow and Lucy Varney in Oddsocks' Twelfth Night. Photo: Ashley Franklin Andy Barrow and Lucy Varney in Oddsocks' Twelfth Night. Photo: Ashley Franklin
by -

The traditional Shakespearean plot of a seemingly impossible and implausible love triangle is not entirely lost in Oddsocks’ touring Twelfth Night. Madcap capers and jovial antics are plentiful in this fabulous piece of family-friendly outdoor theatre. And, of course, the great outdoors becomes a character in itself, with the company’s proficient and personable ensemble not dampened or deterred by a downpour during Act II.

Gavin Harrison is a cool gangster of an Orsino in white suit with black tie and shades, while Andy Barrow excels as the pompous Malvolio with carefully coiffured quiff. His role includes a Tati-esque encounter with a stepladder and some maudlin Morrissey melancholy. He croons “Olivia Knows I’m Miserable Now” when he is deemed mad by his mistress. Indeed, the musical interludes really give the show its novelty and strength, with a mixture of indie, heavy metal, punk rock, ballads and electro-pop classics woven into the narrative seamlessly.

The costumes are frequently hilarious, such as Sir Toby’s traffic cone as headwear, Sir Andrew’s star-spangled clown suit and silly sombrero, and Malvolio stripping down to bright yellow garters and boxer shorts.

Rebecca Little and Peter Hoggart make spitting images of each other as brother and sister Sebastian and Viola, to much amusement, while Lucy Varney deliberately overacts in her role as Olivia with a great stage presence that captures the audience’s hearts. And it should be said that, despite the wind, rain and motorcyclists in the park to compete with, not a word comes out without clarity and confidence.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Outdoor Shakespeare features excellent ensemble performances with great comic timing and some superb slapstick