Mansfield Palace Community Theatre members take up the challenge this month of presenting one of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies, Twelfth Night.
In the 400th year since Shakespeare’s death, there’s a whole host of events taking place up and down the country including new commissions of versions of the bard’s plays for television.
Theatre practitioners, TV and film directors and comedians have been inspired by Shakespeare through the centuries, and still are, constantly re-shaping and making his work relevant for their time.
So why do the themes of Shakespeare’s plays still appeal to this day? What makes them relevant? And why do we love his characters?
Ben Palmer, playing Orsino in the Palace production, states, “In my opinion, Shakespeare is timeless. The themes and issues which Shakespeare includes can be adapted to virtually any time period.
“Whether it be comments regarding the social classes or the role of women or the human race as a whole, Shakespeare can constantly be re-invented and re-applied time and time again.”
Sandy Edwards-Walsh, the female actor playing Feste, originally a male role, added: “People are still the same and have the same ups and downs in their lives.
“We all know people just like the Shakespearean characters – who doesn’t know a drunken idiot, a pompous man or a sarcastic wit?”
This production has been set in the 1920s. Christopher Neil, the director explained: “I wanted to set the play in an era that was full of fun and would allow us to celebrate the raucous antics of Sir Toby and his ‘cake and ale’ mates.
“Equally, the 1920s was a period to celebrate as equality for women moved forward with a confidence. The strong characters of Olivia and Viola, not to mention the servant Maria, are thriving in the Charleston era production.”
See the play at the Mansfield Palace Theatre from Thursday June 30 to Saturday July 2. Tickets are priced £8.50 full / £7.50 concessions / children aged 10+ and students £6 / family of four £25. Call 01623 633133 or visit www.mansfield.gov.uk/palacetheatre