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Twelfth Night (Noche de reyes)

By William Shakespeare |Directed by Christopher Luscombe | A Royal Shakespeare Company production

  • nglish with Spanish subtitles
  • 141 minutes
  • Todo público

The opulence of Victorian times shines through in this hilarious comedy of errors.

This Shakespeare comedy, probably written in 1599 and 1601, is a hilarious yet heartbreaking story of unrequited love. Viola and Sebastian are twins who are separated when they are shipwrecked. Thinking the other is dead, the siblings have to fend for themselves in a strange land. Viola falls in love with Orsino, who dotes on Olivia, who falls for Viola, who has disguised herself as a man, Cesario, in order to be hired to work in Orsino’s house. And so the story goes until Sebastian appears, who is the spitting image of his twin sister, confusing things even more.

Directed by outstanding British theater producer Christopher Luscombe for the Royal Shakespeare Company, this version of Twelfth Night, recorded live at the RSC Theater in 2018, is striking because of its performances and the splendid set designs that recreate the opulence of 1890s London.

Performers: Esh Alladi (Sebastian), Nicholas Bishop (Orsino), Tom Byrne (Valentine), Sally Cheng (Cook), Michael Cochrane (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Adrian Edmondson (Malvolio), James Gant (Police Inspector/Manservant), Dinita Gohil (Viola/Cesario), John Hodgkinson (Sir Toby Belch), Beruce Khan (Feste), Verity Kirk (Doncella), Luke Latchman (Curio), Vivien Parry (Maria), Joseph Prowen (Footman/Police Officer/Stationmaster), Giles Taylor (Antonio), Kara Tointon (Olivia), Sara Twomey (Fabia), James Tyler (Ship Captain/Police Officer/Stationmaster) | Directed by: Christopher Luscombe | Designer: Simon Higlett | Lighting designer: Tim Mitchell | Sound designer: Jeremy Dunn | Music: Nigel Hess | Choreography: Jenny Arnold | Fight scenes: Kev McCurdy.

(c) Nathan Kruger

Christopher Luscombe

Director

Maestro of British comedy

This renowned British theater and opera producer (1963) started out as a comedy actor. He was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company for seven years and also had roles at the National Theater, the Old Vic and at other West End theaters. He is currently a RSC associated artist, directing Much Ado About Nothing and Love’s Labor’s Lost. One of his most renowned productions is The Rocky Horror Show musical comedy, which has been touring the world for the last 15 years.

William Shakespeare

Playwright

Eternally classic

This English playwright and poet (1564-1616) is undisputedly the world’s greatest creator of literature and theater and an expert at conveying his characters’ feelings, such as pain, betrayal, love and jealousy. This is why his plays - such as Hamlet, Rey Lear, Othello, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream - are still as popular as ever and are read and performed worldwide.

“Relocated to 1890s Britain, it is stuffed with smart ideas that bring new dimensions to the play’s social and erotic tensions”.

–The Times

“It delivers rapturous speeches, splendid sets and some clever ideas”.

–The Guardian

“Luscombe knows how to execute a big comic set-piece”.

–The Stage

–It is one of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s largest productions in the last few years. Critics have highlighted its spectacular staging and the work of designer Simon Higlett, who recreates 1890s London and the opulence of the Victorian era. It is more than this though: setting the play in this period is also director Christopher Luscombe’s nod to Queen Victoria and her close relationship with her Indian attendant, Abdul Karim, after India became part of the British Empire. In fact, in this version, twins Viola and Sebastian are played by British actors with Indian heritage.

–The play is set in 1890s London. According to critics, this can also be interpreted as a nod to Oscar Wilde’s England, playing on the sexual ambiguity of some of its characters. Orsino, who is in love with Olivia, is attracted to Viola disguised as a man, while Antonio is in love with Sebastian. According to English newspaper The Times, “it is a Wildean aesthete’s vision of Victorian England”.

– Director Christopher Luscombe is considered one of the greats of Shakespearean comedy. In fact, during his time as an actor at the RSC, he wrote and starred in The Shakespeare Revue, a successful comedy that parodied the playwright. “I don’t subscribe to the view that doing tragedy is in any way superior. One quite distinguished director when I did Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado said to me, ‘That’s great, Chris, because now maybe you can go back and give them a tragedy. And in the end, you never know, you might even get to do Hamlet’. And I thought, are you suggesting that doing Shakespearean comedy is easier? That does rankle a bit. I suppose I’m a bit obsessed about comedy, and I make no bones about that”, he said in an interview in 2016.

The Royal Shakespeare Company: Founded in 1961 as the successor to what was known as the Shakespeare Memorial Company, this English theater company’s repertoire is based on the works of the English playwright and also on other pieces from the Jacobean and Elizabethan times. It was the first theater group to receive government funding and part of its work involves running important educational activities based around Shakespeare. The company is based in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, holds live events and events via streaming and also tours worldwide.

The Victorian Era: This refers to the time of the reign of Queen Victoria between 1837 and 1901. During these years, the British Empire reached its apogee, becoming the first world power, both prosperous and industrialized. As a result of its economic success at this time, different social classes were formed - the upper class, the bourgeoisie and a middle class that did not hesitate to demonstrate their prosperity by acquiring material belongings.

–Check out the RSC’s YouTube channel, which includes several videos of Christopher Luscombe’s Twelfth Night.

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