Twelfth Night… or what you will

After twins, Sebastian and Viola, are shipwrecked at the start of the play, Viola must figure out a way to survive in the foreign land of Illyria. Since Countess Olivia, the only potential female protector is too distraught over her brother’s death to receive any visitors, Viola decides that her second-best course of action will be to enter the service of Duke Orsino.

As part of her survival scheme, she discards her gown and masks her female gender with the disguise of a male page. Her masculine clothing proves to be such a convincing disguise that several characters; Feste, Olivia, Antonio, and Sir Andrew, confuse her outright with her brother Sebastian, her twin brother. Here they encounter new social norms, which leads them to fall in love and explore a spectrum of sexuality and fluctuating gender binary, the likes of which they have never experienced, swept along in a frolic of live music, original songs, and classic comedy clowning.

The brand-new production of Shakespeare’s bitter-sweet comedy Twelfth Night by Footsbarn Theatre premiered at the York international Shakespeare festival this summer before its UK and European tour. We are delighted to welcome Footsbarn to the Olivier Theatre!

Summary... After twins, Sebastian and Viola, are shipwrecked at the start of the play, Viola must figure out a way to survive in the foreign land of Illyria. Since Countess Olivia, […]

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