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Twelfth Night, or What You Will (2014)

Directed by Damien Ryan

Written by William Shakespeare

March 5, 2014 to April 9, 2014

"Last things first. Five stars. Or five-and-a-half. If there’s any company other than Sport For Jove making Shakespeare live and breathe all over again, in new ways, I don’t know of it." Lloyd Bradford Syke, Daily Review

In 2014, Sport for Jove will continue to build its energetic relationship with Sydney’s Seymour Centre and with the theatre that we value very deeply in the geographical heart of Sydney, Riverside at Parramatta. Our March/April season is a passionate celebration of Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday, a landmark that promises enormous undertakings from companies all around the globe, to explore and respond to the indelible impression this artist has made on our lives in literature, in theatre and in our appreciation of what it is to be human. His remains the most complete portrait of the human species we have and Sport for Jove looks forward to doing our bit in celebrating this milestone - April 1564–2014.

A repertory season of two of his most remarkable plays – dark comedies that cut to the heart of his joyous yet subversive perspective on love and family. Twelfth Night, or What You Will, and the dangerous comedy, not seen in Sydney for decades, All’s Well That Ends Well. (Special double bill ticket packages (Adult $68, Concession $54) are available by calling the Seymour Centre box office, 02 9351 7940) Both plays, arguably written in the same year, map the same territory in starkly different ways, offering wonderful comedy set within an agonizing melancholia – a self-induced funk of unrequited love and poisonous vanity that must inevitably pay a price.

“What country friends is this…?”

We all love a voyage of discovery… especially when, after wild seas, wrecks and restorations, loves and losses, it is ourselves that we discover.

To lose one’s twin is to lose oneself. When a pair of twins wash ashore, bereft of each other in a strange land, their extraordinary journey toward reunion will change the lives of all they touch.

This hilarious and moving voyage of discovery awaits audiences at Sport for Jove’s Twelfth Night, coming to Riverside at Parramatta and Seymour Centre in March 2014. Performed to critical acclaim outdoors in 2013, the hit production was described by the Sydney Morning Herald as “…Ryan’s accomplished, clear and free-spirited production is the play entire...absolute clarity of intention from its performers…typified by generosity of spirit” (Jason Blake, SMH)

Starring Abigail Austin, Megan Drury, Anthony Gooley, Robin Goldsworthy, Bernadette Ryan and James Lugton, the production transports its audience with the insatiable spirit of a summer holiday right to the waters edge, and between heat and storms, idyll and ice-cream, we witness a ‘miracle’ – the restoration of family. Along the way, we are made to think of things that touch us close to home – the voice of refugees, stranded souls seeking asylum on islands of plenty, the thirst for revenge and the pains and pleasures of love. And as any family knows, on holidays, we never entirely escape our demons, indeed, we tend to pack them with us.

“Twelfth Night asks us, ‘What country friends is this?’ It’s a powerful question. It’s a country where refugees fight to find their families again”, says Ryan, “a place called Illyria, that bears a strangely similar sound to the name of another country I know. It is a place where vain self-obsession is punished, ring any political bells? Where foolish pranks can pay a heavy price, where same-sex love affairs are part of the fabric of existence and where true happiness can only be found in freedom, or ‘what you will’…Now wouldn’t that be a magical place to live?”

A must-see for HSC students studying this play or Shakespeare generally, and a perfect introduction to Shakespeare for younger years, offering total clarity in its storytelling.

Q & A sessions are offered afterwards with the actors and director.

“As usual, Sport for Jove makes Shakespeare wonderfully accessible...clarity and passion, verve and ingenuity. Twelfth Night is a must see” (Stage Milk, review – Samuel Campbell)

Director's Note

(No director's note available for this production)

Production Trailer

Production Reviews

Production Gallery

Photography by Seiya Taguchi

  • Abigail Austin | Viola

  • Anthony Gooley | Orsino

  • Bernadette Ryan | Maria

  • Christopher Stalley | Sea Captain

  • Christopher Tomkinson | Antonio

  • Damien Strouthos | Sebastian

  • Edmund Lembke-Hogan | Ensemble

  • Eloise Winestock | Ensemble

  • Francesca Savige | Ensemble

  • George Banders | Ensemble

  • James Lugton | Sir Toby Belch

  • Megan Drury | Olivia

  • Michael Pigott | Sir Andrew Aguecheek

  • Robin Goldsworthy | Malvolio

  • Sam Haft | Ensemble

  • Teresa Jakovich | Fabienne

  • Terry Karabelas | Sir Topaz

  • Tyran Parke | Feste

  • Anna Gardiner | Designer

  • Barry French | Set Construction

  • Christopher Harley | Music Composition

  • Damien Ryan | Director

  • Dan Graham | Assistant Director

  • David Stalley | Sound Design / Videography

  • Katherine Holmes | Assistant Stage Manager

  • Lauren Holmes | Assistant Stage Manager

  • Nick Catran | Set Construction

  • Ruth Horsfall | Stage Manager

  • Toby Knyvett | Lighting Designer

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