Widely accepted as one of Shakespeare's greatest comedies, Twelfth Night has been done by almost every theatre company around and in every way possible. So we asked Flute Theatre's Artistic Director Kelly Hunter to tell us what makes their production unique.
Oh my poor brother, perchance he is not drowned... it is perchance that you yourself were saved.
'Our Twelfth Night has been carved directly from our previous production of Hamlet (2016). Shakespeare wrote Hamlet and Twelfth Night in the same year. At the end of Hamlet, Ophelia is drowned; at the beginning of Twelfth Night Viola is saved. In the opening moments of our production of Twelfth Night, a woman is walking toward her drowning and is saved with a clown's bucket of freezing cold water, so our Ophelia becomes Viola and the two pieces are interlinked.'
If music be the food of love...
'As in Hamlet, Twelfth Night deals with grief, love and madness. The difference between the two plays is music, which we have made central to this production. Our unique company of seven actors never leave the stage and play all the music using guitars, accordions, mandolins, ukuleles, trumpets, cellos, cymbals, glockenspiels and drums.'
This is Illyria lady.
'There is no traditional set in this Twelfth Night. Our Illyria is comprised of two ladders, three benches, flowers, confetti, veils, stockings, blindfolds and cheerios.'
Are all the people mad?
'Our fantastic company not only perform all the music, but they do a lot of doubling up. Olivia is also Toby, Sebastian is also Andrew. Both must purge themselves of their drunken, fearful selves before they can find love.'
More matter for a May morning.
'We have performed this Twelfth Night in major European Shakespeare festivals in Spain, Romania and Germany as well the beautiful garden setting of Bonnington Square in London. Our performances at the Minerva Chichester in January 2019 will mark our premiere inside a UK theatre, and the first time our Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream have been performed alongside each other as a double bill.'
Time thou must untangle this not I, it is too hard a knot for me to untie.
'The show is a beautiful 100 minutes long.'
Our seven fearless actors
Danger shall seem sport.
'These seven actors play all the parts in Twelfth Night. These seven actors play all the music in Twelfth Night. These seven actors also play all the parts in A Midsummer Night's Dream for people with autism in the mornings during our run at Minerva. These seven actors are unique.'
Flute Theatre's Twelfth Night runs in the Minerva Theatre from 15 - 26 January, with their A Midsummer Night's Dream for young people with autism also playing alongside it.