Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

What Else Is New. Theatre

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

What Else Is New. Theatre

Article excerpt

Byline: FIONA MOUNTFORD

TWELFTH NIGHT Duke of York's WC2 TWELFTH Night is such a gift of a play that it's always doubly disappointing when a production doesn't make of it quite all it could. For my money it's up there with Hamlet for depth and richness, so it's a pity that Gregory Doran, director of David Tennant's recent terrific RSC Hamlet, doesn't work his subtle magic so effectively here.

The closing moments show the masterstrokes of which Doran is capable. After the mayhem of twins and shipwrecks and ill-matched marriages has been tidied up into a hasty happy ending, Feste sings a lugubrious song about the rain. Instead of having him stand alone, Doran gets the three characters who have been egregiously illtreated by Act Five -- Antonio, Aguecheek and, above all, Malvolio -- to cross slowly in front of him. It's a startling reminder of the darkness just below the surface of this scintillating comedy.

Elsewhere, it's a stop-start evening. …

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