If music be the food of love, you know this is heralding Shakespeare’s great comedy of cross dressing, cross purposes and slapstick comedy.
At the beginning of this production, the first for Newtown’s New Theatre in 2021, the 12 actors toss a coin to see which of the two roles they have learned they will play on the evening.
The story begins when the shipwrecked Viola, who is separated from her twin Sebastian, dresses as a boy, and falls in love with the Duke Orsino, who in turn sends her to woo the lady Olivia on his behalf.
The plot get complicated when Olivia falls in love with the boy who is actually the girl Viola.
Director Viktor Kalka found his performers through social media and acting platforms. This young cast of 12 offers the audience a fast-paced romp which proves that Shakespearean comedy is not wasted on the young.
While it is clear that some of the performers could have done with more rehearsals and stronger voice coaching, this is such an endearing and enthusiastic caper that it leaves the audience smiling broadly and applauding heartily at the end of the last act.
Eleni Cassimatis as Sir Toby and Sarah Greenwood as the vainglorious Malvolio are particularly notable in these roles.
Until Jan 23. New Theatre, 542 King St, Newtown. $20-$38+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.newtheatre.org.au
Reviewed by Irina Dunn