RSC Live: Twelfth Night (2018)

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On Monday, April 9, 2018 as part of the Talks and Screenings at the Folger, the Folger hosted a screening of RSC Live: Twelfth Night, a live cinema broadcast from the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Company, captured from Shakespeare's hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, in their own Elizabethan Theatre. The production was directed by Christopher Luscombe.

Twelfth Night is a tale of unrequited love – hilarious and heartbreaking. Two twins are separated in a shipwreck, and forced to fend for themselves in a strange land. The first twin, Viola, falls in love with Orsino, who dotes on OIivia, who falls for Viola but is idolised by Malvolio. Enter Sebastian, who is the spitting image of his twin sister...

Director Christopher Luscombe chose a late Victorian setting for his visually rich production which appealed to both the critics and the audience. Simon Higlett's splendid set designs included railway stations, opulent hothouses, wood-panelled halls as well gardens complete with fountains and statuary. Nigel Hess composed some lively tunes with a hint of Gilbert and Sullivan to enhance the gaiety.

Taking inspiration from Queen Victoria's relationship with her Indian attendant Abdul Karim, Viola (Dinita Gohil) and Sebastian (Esh Alladi) were Indian twins marooned in 1890s England while Beruce Khan's Feste was an Indian retainer in Olivia's (Kara Tointon) household.

For more information on the production, visit the RSC archives here.

The Royal Shakespeare Company

Everyone at the Royal Shakespeare Company, from actors to technicians, milliners to musicians, plays a part in creating the world audience members see on stage. RSC's work begins its life at their Stratford workshops and theatres and they share it with audiences across the world through touring, residencies and online activity. So, wherever you experience the RSC, you experience work that is made in Shakespeare’s home town in the UK. Shakespeare has been performed and celebrated in Stratford for centuries and the RSC has trained generations of the very best theatre makers since the Company was founded in 1961. RSC pioneers contemporary approaches to Shakespeare’s plays, as well as staging the work of those who inspired him and the work of today’s playwrights. Learn more about RSC Live here.