If there was an award called the “Most Awesome Shakespeare Company” the cast of Twelfth Night and Richard III would most definitely win it. Broadway has been inundated with Shakespeare this season, but these might be the best.
I can only speak for Twelfth Night currently (I went to see it last night and I’ll see Richard III in two weeks) but it was pretty fantastic. But you know what I really need to do before I go see shows? Research. I knew the show I was going to see (I love Shakespeare, studied his work in London in 2007, and I’ve seen Twelfth Night before) but I had no idea that they were performing all of these classically, as in men were playing all roles, including women. This took a second to get used to (who’s playing a woman? who’s playing a woman that’s disguised as a man? etc.) but it was lovely as soon as I figured out who was who.
Who was fabulous? Everyone. Mark Rylance as Olivia, of course. Rylance conquers every role he’s given and he was brilliant here too. I loved seeing Stephen Fry as Malvolio, he’s so hysterical. Samuel Barnett, of The History Boys fame, was also perfection as Viola.
The set was perfect – very much like The Globe in London. The musicians were fantastic. The audience absolutely loved the show too. People who I would never think would be into Shakespeare were walking out saying how amazing it was and that made me smile.
I can’t wait to see Richard III (a piece I’ve never actually seen onstage before) in a couple of weeks. It should be of equal brilliance.