Review: Twelfth Night

Summer for theatre lovers in Suffolk has meant heading to a wooded area to partake in some Shakespeare from Ipswich based Red Rose Chain. So much so that their, sometimes, quirky takes on the Bard’s works have become as much part of summer as ice-creams and Kiss Me Quick hats and the seaside.

The setting for this year’s version of Twelfth Night is the seaside with a background of beach huts and funfairs.

Normally the cast and audience would have been sitting in a forest clearing at Jimmy’s Farm, but unfortunately due to the COVID crisis this could not go ahead.

Determined not to deprive their audiences of their Summer Shakespeare the Red Rose Chain under the direction of Joanna Carrick have adapted to bring the Theatre in Forest to you at home!

For one night only, this Saturday, 1st August you can join a live stream in your own living room, or if you want to be imaginative put the screen in the window and sit on your patio!

Shipwrecked on the Island of Illyria, twins Viola and Sebastian are separated, each assuming that the other is drowned. When Viola disguises herself as a boy to work for the Count Orsino, a hilarious comedy of mistaken identity and misunderstandings unfolds, full of passion, revenge and yellow stockings!

A masterpiece of production Red Rose have, through the use of green screen technology and computer wizardy, managed to produce a show where the cast , while in reality socially distanced (often by several miles), are in fact all on the screen in scenes together. Sometimes characters playing more than one part even appear with themselves!

This production has lavish scenery painted in an almost cartoon style and the players costumes have a hand-drawn effect too. As you would expect from Red Rose it’s always imaginative but this year they’ve had to try that little bit harder…. it’s been worth it! Full Marks for Creativity.

Theatre in the Forest Online ticket sales

Follow @red_rose_chain on Twitter and Instagram – there will soon be some VERY EXCITING news about the Twelfth Night performance to share with you!

Review: Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Viola/Sir Toby Belch – Ailis Duff
Malvolio – Scott Ellis
Maria/Sebastian – Jack Heydon
Feste – Matt Penson
Olivia/Sir Andrew Aguecheek – Fizz Waller
Orsino – Luke Wilson

Musical Direction – Jack Heydon and Matt Penson
Choreography – Katy Frost
Associate Director – Scott Ellis
Backgrounds – Katy Frost
Editor – David Newborn
Director – Joanna Carrick