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24th August 2019

Theatre in the Forest: Twelfth Night


So, what do you get if you combine seaside beach huts, William Shakespeare and lots of trees? Well, what else could it be, than this years offering from the Red Rose Chain and Theatre in the Forest!

This year marks twelve years of Theatre in the Forest so it seems apt that Red Rose Chain should choose Twelfth Night as this summer’s production and as always, the theatre company brings Shakespeare’s plays to life in their own unique way.

Before the production even starts, the actors are entertaining the crowd as they take their seats in the clearing in the forest. The stage is set, with two colourful beach huts, an old boat and lots of sand and then the stage is filled with seagull puppets!

A mixture of very talented actors and brightly coloured costumers really do bring Twelfth Night to life. Lauren St Paul plays a charming Viola, who had the audience laughing from the outset. Comical Feste, Owen Morgan, was certainly a crowd pleaser, His clowning around and comic timing is brilliant, and to top his performance, Morgan is also a talented musician and sings and plays several of his own compositions during the evening, with one lucky audience member becoming the eye of his affection.

Following her recent superb performance in ‘Fallen in Love’, Fleur Keith shows that she’s not just a ‘one trick pony’ with another outstanding performance as Olivia, and David Newborn’s entrance on stage as Sir Toby Belch, was just sheer brilliance – a special mention must go to his horse!

Red Rose Chain always deliver when it comes to choosing fantastic actors for parts in their productions, but the outstanding performance of the evening has to go to Edward Day as Malvolio. From serious butler, to the most memorable performance of ‘Mellow Yellow’ imaginable to the ridiculous act in a Punch and Judy booth, Day shows what a real talent he is – fantastic!

Red Rose Chain are very good at bringing Shakespeare up to date, accessible to all, and making his works easy to follow. The younger members clearly enjoyed the show as much as the more mature members of the audience. Well Done Red Rose Chain for another great production, a must see this summer!

— Wendy Cook —

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