If music be the food of love eat on.

Filter’s Twelfth Night, Wednesday 16 October 2008. Nuffield Theatre, Southampton.

I got free pizza at this play. Free pizza.


Filter’s take on Twelfth Night was a radically cut production with little of the original text, yet with a lot of the original spirit.

This was a suitably carnivalesque play demonstrating the topsy-turvy comic world of the classic charivari. Orsino doubled as Sir Andrew and this created some very rapid changes of character which though a touch confusing added to the general atmosphere of manic humour. Viola took a coat and a hat from men in the audience in putting on her disguise and made good use of a pair of socks to make her manly appearance slightly more realistic!

As Sir Toby weaved drunkenly through most of the play his intermittent shouts, rants and drunken laughs were a constant high point. The madly indulgent party in the third act which so infuriates Malvolio, was played with such a high level of energy as to be infectious. This was where those of us in the front row got dragged up on stage, dancing the can-can, and being given free pizza. Sadly I missed out on the tequila slammers, however I got to shake the maracas at Malvolio which I suspect not many people can say.

Running at less than two hours this was a spirited production with entertaining performances from Filter. The general madness of it all was summed up by the layout of the stage; tables were piled high with speaker stacks, cables, wires and musical equipment. It became a signpost for the music which fed throughout the play. This started with Orsino’s if music be the food of love modern jazz number, to the rock fest of ‘Count Malvolio’ music was the uniting feature of the play.

It was a fine evening of entertainment, although I would rather not mention the four hours it took me to get home after – another disadvantage to living on an island and having to make ferry connections.

Still- and I don’t know if I mentioned this yet - I got free pizza.


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