Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Nicholas Day’

vice-versa-production-photos_-2017_2017_photo-by-pete-le-may-_c_-rsc_219662-tmb-img-1824

The full title of this play is actually Vice Versa (Or the Decline and Fall of General Braggadocio at the Hands of his Canny Servant Dexter and Terence the Monkey). And if that doesn’t give you the idea that you are in for a few hours of fun, laughter and daftness, then I don’t know what will.

The play is a new script by Phil Porter, described as ‘lovingly ripped off from the Roman comedies of Plautus’. The story revolves around the pathetic and self-deluded General Braggodocio, who has taken as his concubine the unwilling Voluptua. She, meanwhile is having a clandestine relationship with her true love Valentin, and the General’s servant Dexter has to hide the fact from her boss, while simultaneously scheming to get Voluptua, Valentin and herself out of the General’s clutches.

I can honestly say that from the moment the play started until the moment the cast took their final bows, I had a constant grin on my face, and it is no exaggeration to say that I laughed out loud genuinely and frequently – the whole audience seemed to share a real enthusiasm and found the play extremely funny.

Felix Hayes certainly had no qualms about sending himself up in the role of General Braggadocio, and was terrific in every scene. The whole supporting cast were fantastic too, with Byron Mondahl and Steven Kynman great as his two inept servants Omnivorous and Feclus. Ellie Beaven and Geoffrey Lumb also shone as lovers Voluptua and Valentin, and Nicholas Day was truly hilarious as Philoproximus Braggadocio’s neighbour who is complicit in the the double crossing). Special mention also to Kim Hartman who played a prostitute called Climax(!) However, the main plaudits surely have to be reserved for Sophie Nomvete as Dexter – not only did she have the job of tying the whole story together and keeping the audience involved, she also had the biggest role and the most dialogue – she never missed a beat, and the unpacking the shopping scene (watch the show! I don’t want to spoil this scene for you!) was incredibly funny, well written and brilliantly delivered.

This play actually holds the records for the most amount of props (244) used in an RSC production, and indeed they were brought out with frequency. The whole production was colourful and brash, with a lot of physical ‘slapstick’ style comedy as well as numerous double entendres and puns.

I loved the production and would happily have sat through it again straight away. I definitely recommend that anyone who enjoys a good solid belly laugh sees this production while it’s on!

Read Full Post »

I saw this production of Twelfth Night, at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, at Stratford upon Avon, on 1st September 2012.

For anyone not familiar with the story, it revolves around a young woman named Viola, who survives a shipwreck and washes up in a country called Illyria.  Viola believes that her twin brother Sebastian has perished in the shipwreck.  She disguises herself as a man and calls herself Cesario, and finds employment with Orsino (in the original play, Orsino was a Duke, but here he is captain of the police force).  Orsino has fallen hard for Olivia (originally written as a countess, but here the owner of a hotel), and tasks ‘Cesario’ with conveying his love to Olivia, and hopefully getting Olivia to return his feelings.  However, Olivia falls for ‘Cesario’, not realising that he is in fact a woman, and things get complicated.  A sub-plot concerns Olivia’s drunken uncle, Toby Belch, and his capers and escapades with his friend Andrew Aguecheek.

The play started with Viola, played with charm by Emily Taaffe, literally climbing out of water, onto the wooden stage, which made for a dramatic opening scene.  As the action moves from Orsino’s home to Olivia’s hotel, the action moves along at a nice pace, balancing drama and comedy perfectly.  The play was performed in modern dress, and the set was clean, with only a few pieces of scenery, which worked very well, and ensured seamless switching of scenes.

The cast were all excellent, but I simply cannot review this play without making special mention of Jonathan Slinger, who played Malvalio – and was outstanding in his role.  He also got the biggest laugh of the entire play; I’m not going to say in which scene, as I would hate to spoil it for anyone who has yet to see it, but suffice to say that the auditorium exploded with applause and laughter, and I was crying from laughing so much.  Nicholas Day and Bruce MacKinnon were great as Toby Belch and Andrew Aguecheek respectively, as Cecilia Noble as Maria.

This is one of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies, and it’s easy to see why.  I highly recommend this production, which is part of the shipwreck trilogy (which also includes The Comedy of Errors and The Tempest; however, it is not necessary to see all of the plays to enjoy one of them). If you want to see an excellent comedy, in a beautiful theatre, I cannot recommend this production highly enough.

(For more information about this production, or about the Royal Shakespeare Company, please click here.)

*********************************************************************************************************

Click here for my review of the 1996 film adaptation.

********************************************************************************************************

Read Full Post »