Twelfth Night

  • Katharine Goodland
  • John O’Connor
Part of the A Directory of Shakespeare in Performance Series book series (DSP)


The Twelfth Night proved to be a beauty—one of the lightest, most luminous and elegant things to be seen in Stratford for some years. David Jones is one of the two directors of the Royal Shakespeare Company in Britain…—and in this “Twelfth Night” he escapes from the Canadian tradition of Guthrie into something far more substantial and poetic. Mn Jones is like Mr. Philips, one of the new-style British classic directors who are original without being outlandish and place the simple, yet imaginative interpretation of the playwrights concept as absolutely paramount… The zest of Mr. Jones’s interpretation of these criss-crossing patterns of love and identity shone out from the first. He takes Orsino’s opening speech, “If music be the food of love,” as if it had just been written by the playwright, and throughout he is devilishly imaginative in his readings of the text, for this is a subtle, supple view of the vagaries of love. It is exquisitely acted… The two principals, indeed, were new, and they were iridescent. Brian Bedford as Malvolio and Kathleen Widdoes as Viola had just that definition of Shakespearean style that has been lacking at Stratford these last few seasons … Mr. Bedford—and Mr. Jones—take a considerable risk in addressing the audience directly. Style wards off the threat inherent here of vulgarity, but at the end perhaps Mr. Bedford, who has been the consummate comedian throughout, does at present miss the full morose possibility of Malvolios final malediction. But this is a rich Malvolio, and Miss Widdoes with her temptuously passionate Viola is its equal. Saucer-eyed and trigger-spirited, Miss Widdoes is absolutely credible. The other performances were all in their own way admirable… It shows what direction can do-and I also like the Caroline period design of Susan Benson. (Clive Barnes, New York Times, 12 June 1975)


Young Company Mating Dance Dutch Accent Consummate Comedian Supple View 
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Copyright information

© Katharine Goodland and John O’Connor 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharine Goodland
  • John O’Connor

There are no affiliations available

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