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Twelfth Night – Botanical Gardens, Sheffield

  • June 21, 2022

Writer: William Shakespeare

Additional Writing: Emma Hodgkinson

Director: Peter Mimmack

Twelfth Night – a classic Shakespearean tale set on the mystical island of Illyria, full of romance and hidden identities. In true Heartbreak Productions style, the play has been brought right in the 2022 with the exotic island Illyria being the location for 12 Nights, a reality TV show where contestants are put together on an island to fall in love with each other. Sound familiar? Some may think that Shakespeare would have been rolling in his grave at the thought of this but it works surprisingly well when considering the themes of the play. This is a fantastically creative way to bring the play into the present for an audience that really was filled with people of all ages.

Peter Mimmack’s directorial vision for the play, alongside Emma Hodgkinson adaptation of the original text, holds up very well for the most part. The movement between modern English and Shakespearean English never feels jarring and the events of the plot fit almost perfectly into the setting. Kate Wragg’s design is fairly simple but works well, with lots of playing space available for the cast. The inclusion of a TV screen is a brilliant idea and really helps bring the piece up to date, and give the audience an insight into the characters they’re going to meet before the play starts. Libby Esler’s costume designs are nothing spectacular but work well in assisting the audience to differentiate between characters, as most of the cast members play multiple roles.

Erin Claire Spence takes on the role of Viola and their male alter-ego Cesario. They give an great performance, making the character really likeable. However a little more variation between Viola and Cesario would not have gone amiss. They get the opportunity to

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