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Funny execution of enjoyable comedy

PUBLISHED: 15:44 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:18 24 August 2010

Tim Woodward (Sir Toby Belch), Clive Rowe (Feste) and Clive Hayward (Andrew Aguecheek)

Tim Woodward (Sir Toby Belch), Clive Rowe (Feste) and Clive Hayward (Andrew Aguecheek)

by Andy McCorkell This vibrant and colourful rendition of Shakespeare s emotional comedy revives the sentiment that he was at his best in appealing to the masses. In Edward Dick s delightful resurrection of Twelfth Night, we are reminded

Janie Dee as Olivia

by Andy McCorkell

This vibrant and colourful rendition of Shakespeare's emotional comedy revives the sentiment that he was at his best in appealing to the masses.

In Edward Dick's delightful resurrection of Twelfth Night, we are reminded of the great bard's exquisite skill in tempting belly laughs from the most base and common humour, while employing a meta narrative that enchants the most refined and cerebral fractions of our intellect.

And this is a very funny execution of the play.

Under Dick's direction, the effervescent Clive Rowe steals the show with melancholic, glittering flair for camp clowning and a sonorous exposition of Feste.

For those who may have forgotten, the story follows Viola who is separated in a shipwreck from her twin brother.

Believing him dead, she disguises herself as a boy before falling under the employ of Count Orsino to woo the reluctant Lady Olivia.

Olivia is awoken from her own grief by a new love, but for the servant and not the master, while Viola herself falls head over heels for the Count.

This thoroughly enjoyable comedy traverses an emotional space that includes unrequited love, drunken revelry and mistaken identity.

Finally, a skilfully obsequious performance from Richard O'Callaghan delivers the miserable desolation and delusion of the sourpuss turned dreamer that is Malvolio.

Twelfth Night runs at the Open Air Theatre, Inner Circle, Regent's Park until July 30.

With birds twittering across the stage as the sun sets, the theatre is the only permanent professional outdoor theatre in Britain.

Call 0844 826 4242 for tickets or visit www.openairtheatre.org.


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