UK’s Filter Theatre brings anarchy, laughs and music with their version of Twelfth Night
A cast dressed in scruffy clothes and a stage that looks ready for a rock concert does not really lend itself to our image of a production of Shakespeare. In fact, in Filter Theatre’s Twelfth Night, the actors work as musicians, too. “If we can blur the line between what constitutes a performer, then we have done our job,” smiles Oliver Dimsdale, the associate director of the UK-based devising theatre company. In its tenth year of performance (it premiered at the Complete Works Festival in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 2006), the play is a contemporary vision and “a response to the first line of the play, ‘If music be the food of love, play on’,” states Dimsdale. We see that in how the play opens in the middle of a jam session and how the great storm is portrayed through a BBC shipping forecast. But what’s most interesting is its actor-audience relationship. Previous shows have seen actors dressing in jackets borrowed from the crowd and even sharing a box of pizza with them! “The performers let themselves be inspired on stage on a nightly basis. While much of the show is tightly rehearsed, many areas are left open,” he says. Though they work from a pre-cut script (of 80 minutes), and have removed lines that aren’t too understandable, they’ve mostly stuck to the Bard’s words. The music—composed by Londoners Tom Haines and Ross Hughes, and ranging from jazz to rock—also keeps with the mood. Brought down by The British Council, the team will conduct an acting workshop ahead of the show on December 8, at their library (10-11.30 am, 9884029866).
December 8-9, at 7 pm, Phoenix MarketCity. Details: 30083008
Surya Praphulla Kumar