Twelfth Night

There are many productions of reimagined Shakespeare plays that try to add a unique twist to the Bard's work. I have seen many such interpretations of Twelfth Night, both successful and unsuccessful, and so was pleased to see that The Lincoln Company have just about managed to do it well.

The Lincoln Company have taken a unique twist on Twelfth Night in an imaginative interpretation that works very well

Illyria becomes a record store run by Olivia with the help of Maria and Malvolio. Director Mark Brewer writes, 'Music plays an integral part in this Twelfth Night' and it is very refreshing to see an interpretation that is bold and confident in its ideas. Music is used very effectively throughout, including an enjoyable opening in which short extracts of popular songs are played as each character enters, giving us an amusing glimpse into the nature of every one of them. Seeing Orsino strut around to Hot Chocolate's You Sexy Thing was hilarious!

We can see evidence of how cleverly constructed this production is through its intuitive attention to detail. As a '21st century remix' the show takes advantage of props very well. Vinyl records are a key motif and are used for multiple effects throughout the show. The company also embrace modernity by using telephones, stereos and even Budweiser beer to lift the show into the modern day.

The cast do a good job of breathing energy into the text but, unfortunately, some of them don’t seem to have a firm grasp of the language they are using. In one scene Andrew Aguecheek fumbles over the word "accost" when addressing Maria, but this exchange doesn’t feel deliberately clumsy, as it should, but rather like two actors unsurely reciting words they don’t have a firm understanding of.

Standout performances were delivered by Emily Bickerdike (Viola) and Jay Petherick (Toby Belch) who both own the stage with energy and vitality. Bickerdike's humble Viola is incredibly likeable and she is consistently wrapped in her character, and Petherick's drunken antics as Toby are hysterical. It is a pleasure to watch him stumbling around the stage, commanding the attention of the crowd.

The Lincoln Company have taken a unique twist on Twelfth Night in an imaginative interpretation that works very well, while decisions like making Malvolio female are commendable and bring a lovely up to date feel to the show. A little more attention is needed to keep performances consistent and engaging, but that said it is a thoroughly enjoyable show.

Reviews by Alex Hargreaves

theSpace on the Mile

Normal is an Illusion

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Not the Horse

Greenside @ Royal Terrace

Richard III

C venues – C cubed

A Midsummer Night's Dream

C venues - C

The Society of Strange

Paradise in Augustines

C'tait la Nuit


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

In this economy, a nostalgic record store sounds like the perfect moneymaker; anything to get you off your Game Boy, out of your parents' basement and into the real world. A group of well-meaning, infatuated, reckless teenagers take on a business with limited growth potential and next to no customers. Hell, it’s better to burn out than fade away. A laconic cut of Shakespeare’s misguided comedy brings to light the love, loss and dedication of die-hard music fans: who needs money and a girlfriend anyway? Rock'n'roll, baby.

Most Popular See More

Mamma Mia!

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £46.00

More Info

Find Tickets