Having sat through far too many painful, mostly amateur, versions of Shakespeare, Mirinda is not that keen on them. I was very much the same until I started going to The Globe regularly. I now seem to have learned the language to some extent. Mirinda, not so much.
So, it was with some trepidation that we tuned in to the National Theatre stream of Twelfth Night this afternoon. Mirinda was ultimately convinced to watch it after we saw an ad featuring the amazing Tamsin Greig as Malvolia in yellow stockings and cross garters.
This is the scene where Malvolia, thinking she has a chance with her mistress, Olivia, humiliates herself. In the original, it is a male called Malvolio. The National version gave it so much more depth, playfulness and just plain hilarity. Tamsin is superb.
Not to say that the rest of the cast did not excel as well. It was a truly amazing production.
The tomfoolery between a seemingly permanently drunk Sir Toby Belch (Tim McMullin) and the innocent idiot that is Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Daniel Rigby) lit up the stage whenever they entered.
And the twins (Tamara Lawrance as Viola and Daniel Ezra as Sebastian) were excellent. Identical in every way. Well, apart from gender. And height. And…well, not identical at all but they sure fooled Olivia (Phoebe Fox) and Orsino (Oliver Chris).
And I thought Doon Mackichan was just amazing as Feste.
Having never heard her sing before her voice was a total and delightful surprise.
Singing? I hear you query. Well, yes, because this was a Shakespeare with music, song, silliness and joy. And one hell of a drag act version of Hamlet’s soliloquy in The Elephant.
In two words, my review would read: Thoroughly enjoyable.
It was as enjoyable as the rest of the day had been relaxing. I worked on research and cooking and generally enjoying the sunshine on the terrace. I even managed to read with a beer.
Mirinda had a couple of Skype sessions and it was during her one with Queensland that she discovered that lockdown restrictions have been eased there. In fact, the state government has declared that Queenslanders can once more drive their cars.
I bet that caused a great sigh of relief. After all, that beautiful pollution free air was only going to irritate them. Much better to foul it up again.
The title comes courtesy of a Radio 3 listener this morning. She had recorded some Scottish birds and the announcer had put some music either side of the birds. The listener claimed she was feeling carefree and hopeful.
I thought it sounded better my way.