Twelfth Night comes to Worcester Cathedral


"If music be the food of love, play on..."

Music is the food of love and nobody is quite what they seem for this year’s Worcester Rep at the Cathedral.

Worcester Repertory Company brings Shakespeare’s hilarious tale of mistaken identity and unrequited love, Twelfth Night to Worcester Cathedral this October.

The only continuous tradition of cathedral performance anywhere in the world, Twelfth Night will be the Rep’s seventh consecutive ‘Worcester Rep at the Cathedral’ production. However, in a break with tradition, the Rep will this year move away from the tragedies to make way for a riotous production of one of the bard’s altogether more lighthearted plays.

Jonathan Legg will direct the production, with Worcester Rep regular Jonathan Darby appearing as the sometimes pompous, sometimes ridiculous, yellow-stockinged Malvolio.

Jonathan Legg has directed productions for a range of West Midlands companies at venues including the Royal Shakespeare Company’s The Other Place, The Cheltenham Everyman, the Attic Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and Worcester’s own Swan Theatre, as well as working extensively on new writing projects with Malvern Theatres’ Writer In Residence, Nick Wilkes, who will play Orsino in the production.

This is my first Cathedral Shakespeare and I am relishing the task of continuing the wonderful work done by Chris Jaeger and Ben Humphrey,” Legg says. “Twelfth Night is a fantastic rollercoaster of a play – it lifts us up with many moments of broad comedy only to drop us down again when we join the characters in their sense of loss, abandonment and unrequited love. Shakespeare is a master at writing plays that offer something for everyone, and it manages to be not only incredibly profound at times, but also riotously funny.

He added: “I am lucky to have assembled a fantastic cast using Rep regulars and also a few fresh faces that will be new to Worcester audiences. It truly is a privilege to present a play in such a magnificent setting, and I hope people have as much fun watching the play as I have had directing it!

Twelfth Night’s tale begins when twins Viola and Sebastian are separated in a shipwreck, with Viola washed ashore and fearing her lost brother dead. Determined to fend for herself, Viola disguises herself as a boy to serve Orsino, Duke of Illyria, who is in love with the fair Olivia. But Viola reckons without her own passion for her new master and Olivia’s passion for her! With Olivia and Orsino’s households quite overrun with passion, even Olivia's uptight steward Malvolio is swept up in the madness… Confusion reigns in Shakespeare’s hilarious comedy of mistaken identity, cross dressing, cross gartering and unrequited love.

Twelfth Night runs from Tuesday 16th to Saturday 20th October in The Quire, Worcester Cathedral. Tickets are available through the Worcester Live Box Office on 01905 611427 or via www.worcesterlive.co.uk

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Ben Humphrey

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Sarah-Jane Morgan

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