Tequila, pizza and gold spangled pants – no, it’s not a scene from your Uncle’s stag do, but rather a euphoric chunk from Filter Theatre‘s (in association with RSC‘s) production of Twelfth Night. A 90 minute explosion of hysteria, live music and playfulness, this contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic was not for the faint-hearted.
Held at Sherman Cymru, the play opened up with the foolishly lovable Orsino (played by Shakespeare veteran, Jonathan Broadbent) uttering those famous words: “If music be the food of love, play on!”. And play on they did. From start to finish, the show was mayhem – in the best sense of the word. Well known for their bold and boundary pushing work, Filter Theatre has taken this churned out classic and spun it on its head making it more accessible – and more bizarre – than ever before. The cast were comically en pointe, interweaving the much loved words of Shakespeare and the fresh, imaginative mind of director Sean Holmes. With plentiful opportunities for audience interaction (including a theatre wide conga line!), the play had the room gripped from the word go.
And what was so incredibly refreshing to see was the hugely diverse audience. People of all ages spanned across the theatre; it truly paid homage to the work of Filter, and the excitingly expansive audience their joyous adaptations called out to.
Really it’s difficult to sum up the experience the show gave me. Part of me left bouncing off the walls, and the other half left not knowing what the hell had just happened. Whatever it was, it was infectious. Was it Shakespeare for me? Probably not, but then who’s to say that’s a bad thing? What Filter did was take what has become a rather tired piece of work and dazzled it into a heady concoction of carnival like splendour. If you’re looking for a night to just let go and have some real laughs in the process, then this is a must see. Although please be warned – you may never look at yellow socks the same way again.