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New Era - Twelfth Night

2nd to 4th and 7th to 11th December 2010.

Here is the NWN review.

Globetrotters need go no further than Wash Common

New Era Players: Twelfth Night, at New Era Theatre, Wash Common, from December 2 to 4, and December 7 to 11

"The play's the thing..." Or is it?

Words had been carefully learnt for this first night of an eight-day run and were delivered with clarity. Colourful costumes and scenery were made with loving care and a big dollop of humour.

Players in costume greeted us in this dear little theatre, well equipped with splendid stage lighting. The heating did its best on one of the coldest nights of the year and at half-time we were warmed by a glass of mulled wine. A splendid evening out and a community event, you might say. Shakespearian without having to travel as far as The Globe.

The actors did their best with the quotable quotes and the difficult text. They had the right props: portable trees to hide behind, a washing line to denote the castle yard. They sang and played, and we sang The Twelve Days of Christmas with them at breakneck speed, words supplied on the back of the elegant programme. Steve Hobson played on a merry fiddle.

The regular group were joined by two promising young thespians, Rachel Nicell and Jack Hepplewhite as Viola and her twin Sebastian.

The star of the piece was Malvolio, a most comic, tragic figure. In long yellow tights, cross gartered and managing a simpering smile, Mike Stokoe carried off this role well - memorably even. His fury at the end when the trick was revealed was convincingly delivered offstage: "I'll be reveng'd on whole pack of you".

The plot was far-fetched, but the sentiments rang true. Neil Taylor the jester wound up with his song The rain it raineth every day and we left satisfied.


This letter in the NWN is in response to the review.

The Play's the thing - or is it?

How right Eileen Caster was to question that well-known Hamlet quote at the head of her 'review' of New Era's recent production of Twelfth Night (NWN, December 9). For her piece made barely any reference to the play she was reviewing, other than the comments that the plot was 'far fetched', a 'trick was revealed' and 'the jester wound up with his song'. One wonders how many Shakespearean plots Ms Caster is familiar with. Certainly there was mention of the 'dear little theatre', its heating and lighting equipment, the programme, the props and the mulled wine served at the interval, but where was the play? Ay, 'there's the rub'. New Era's cast, crew and costume makers, its audiences and readers deserve better.

Director Twelfth Night for New Era Players
Dunley, Whitchurch