“We will draw the curtain and show you the picture”

Twelfth Night is not one of the nation’s all-time favourite comedies for no reason; it has everything you would want from a night with Shakespeare: a shipwreck, separated twins, a girl dressed as a boy, unrequited love, mistaken identity, a witty melancholic fool, songs, sword fights, a pompous figure of fun wearing yellow stockings, plus a host of famous lines and quotable phrases such as, “midsummer madness”, “if music be the food of love, play on”, and “some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em”.

Luckily for the people of Blackpool, English Touring Theatre (ETT) and Sheffield Theatres are bringing their production to the Grand Theatre in October. ETT return to the Grand following their productions of Eternal Love and Anne Boleyn in 2012; this production is directed by Jonathan Munby whose highly distinctive visual style has won public and critical acclaim for his productions of Julius Caesar for the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

As with any Shakespeare production, there’s enjoyment in anticipating how it will be staged; certain that the text will carry you through an intricate and morally unbiased storyline but knowing the rest is open for interpretation by the director, the actors and the designers.  Since ETT are driven by the belief that experiencing plays with large numbers of other people is a powerful cultural experience then Twelfth Night promises to be a great evening out.

Twelfth Night plays at Blackpool Grand Theatre at 7.30pm Tuesday 21 October to Saturday 25 October (plus 2pm matinees on Wednesday and Saturday).  There will be a pre-show talk with the assistant director on Tuesday 21 October at 6.30pm, a captioned performance on Thursday 23 October (this performance will also be followed by a post-show talk (captioned)), and Friday 24 October is an audio-described performance.

Tickets start at £18.50 and can be booked here or at the box office in person or by phone on: 01253 290 190


Featured image from Sheffield Theatres by Mark Douet.

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    Melanie Whitehead is the Creative Director of The Old Electric, Blackpool's newest theatre. She previously worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

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