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Twelfth Night

Love triangles, mischief and a spot of cross-dressing – all the elements of a classic Shakespeare comedy will be on show in Essential Theatre’s rendition of Twelfth Night.


The Australian theatre company is known for their ability to take plays out of a theatre and perform in the same way they would have been done in Shakespeare’s day – outdoors for the people.

Director Amanda LaBonte says the cast and crew are excited to head back to the Top End and perform Twelfth Night at Sanctuary Lakes.

“You just can’t paint those back-drops and that beautiful lake we  performed at last time in Palmer-ston was amazing,” she says.

LaBonte says a wonderful bond forms between cast and audience when you take a play out of the formal environment of a traditional theatre.

“You develop more of a relationship between the performer and audiences,” she says.

“You can see each other. It’s not a bright light we’re looking out to; we can make eye contact and share the tales. The actors enter up and down the aisle and sit in the crowd – it feels much more accessible in that way.”

“When you go to a theatre, sometimes it feels like you have to sit quietly and clap at the right time – this breaks all those barriers down.

“I feel it’s more for the people –  like it was when it was written and performed 400 years ago. It was outdoors and for the masses.”

Twelfth Night is a classic comedy of Shakespeare where young woman, Viola, finds herself washed ashore in a strange but familiar town, Illyria.  

To survive, Viola immerses herself into this new land. She discovers a melancholic Duke, a pair of jovial drunkards, a sullen servant and cross-dressing lovers. Mischief ensues – hearts are tangled, pranks are played and poor Viola finds herself right in the middle of a love triangle.

“There’s twist and turns as with all Shakespeare’s work,” LaBonte says.


See the event listing. 

Main image: Sharon Davis as Olivia by Sarah Walker

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