Director Adam Nichols chatted to Emma Clarendon about his latest production a new take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
There have been countless adaptations of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet over the years; my last experience of it was the much-hyped production at the Barbican last summer. That version, while it had much to recommend it, left me overall a bit underwhelmed – not to mention exhausted, after a first act that lasted almost two hours.
Shakespeare liked to play around with ideas of male and female. From cross-dressing to multiple identities, appearances are never quite what they seem on his stage. So it’s fitting then, that Natasha Rickman decided to run a little gender experiment. Each night, the cast take on either a role of their own gender, or the opposite. Add to that, the cast jump between different parts as the show goes on, sometimes within the same scene. All in all, in order to make it an effective performance, the acting needs to be impressive in order to break down the walls of believability to make the audience buy into the shifting identities of the people before us. And they do.