There I read the following:
"Twelfth Night" is a reference to the twelfth night after Christmas Day, called the Eve of the Feast of Epiphany. It was originally a Catholic holiday but, prior to Shakespeare's play, had become a day of revelry. Servants often dressed up as their masters, men as women and so forth. This history of festive ritual and Carnivalesque reversal, based on the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia at the same time of year (characterized by drunken revelry and inversion of the social order; masters became slaves for a day, and vice versa), is the cultural origin of the play's gender confusion-driven plot.That was a good introduction about what was to come.
The theatre was only partially filled, with people I presumed were Shakespeare lovers. In fact this is a play many people have seen more than once. Still there was so much laughter. It must be that each staging of the play there is a freshness to what is going on.
What was not to love about the production?
1. The costuming was appropriate and in some cases, just when the actor came on stage, either clothed in black and white or in the soft turquoise hues, or in pink, the audience took time for laughter. Sometimes wild laughter.
2. In the bath scene, I wanted Viola's necklace. Yowza to the colours in those beads.
3. Tamsin Grieg's Malvolia was a force in herself.
4. The five piece band worked magic on the production.
5. I was thinking a lot about the delivery, about those lovely couplets and how cleverly they rolled off the tongues of the actors.
6. The song, "To Be or Not To Be" was a show-stopper, transvestite singer and all.
7. Mary and I got to talk about gender fluidity when we got home: the skirt on Sebastian, Malvolia who is usually a man, and Viola and Antonio.
8. I got to remember again why I love the theatre -- giving myself over to the rollicking plot and the clever dialogue.
The Shakespeare Navigators have some great quotes. I laughed at "Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage". And "if music be the food of love, play on" is a quote I have heard many times.
The Encore is May 20th.
Coming up is Rosencrantz & Guildenstern (April 20), Obsession (May 11), and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (May 18) and Peter Pan (June 10).