A dreadful shipwreck casts Viola ashore in Illyria. Thinking her twin brother Sebastian has drowned, she passes herself off as a boy and enters the service of the Duke, Orsino. She becomes his messenger of love to the lady Olivia. Olivia is captivated - but by the messenger, not the message.
I see you what you are, you are too proud;
But, if you were the devil, you are fair.
— Viola, Act I Sc 5
Meanwhile Olivia's roistering uncle Sir Toby Belch and his companions set a trap for her self-important steward, Malvolio. A misleading missive and misplaced affection pile confusion on hilarious confusion.
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.
— Malvolio, Act II Sc 5
In the end, love proves the great redeemer - but will it last? As the melancholy jester Feste sings: "The rain it raineth every day."
What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
— Feste, Act II Sc 3
Shakespeare wrote Twelfth Night in in the final years of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, at the height of his dramatic powers. Devising an entertainment for the end of the Christmas season, he filled it with comic disorder and musical interludes.
The Abbey Shakespeare Players first came to the majestic ruins of St Dogmaels Abbey with Twelfth Night in 1987. We were delighted to revisit one of Shakespeare's most popular comedies for this, our 30th production.
|Orsino, Duke of Illyria||Audley Burnett|
|Olivia, a rich Countess||Kathryn Daw|
|Viola, in love with the Duke||Gemma Streat|
|Sir Toby Belch, uncle to Olivia||Richard Carwardine|
|Sir Andrew Aguecheek, a foolish Knight||Henry Morris|
|Malvolio, steward to Olivia||Heledd Hart|
|Maria, Olivia's woman||Linda Kirk|
|Sebastian, brother to Viola||Joel Pearcey|
|Antonio, a Sea Captain, friend to Sebastian||Ian Wood|
|Sea Captain, friend to Viola||Tim Buck|
|Curio, page attending on the Duke||Gabriel Pearcey|
|Valentine, gentleman attending on the Duke||Simon Beattie|
|Fabian, servant to Olivia||Geoffrey Summers|
|Feste, a Clown, servant to Olivia||Matthew Bellwood|
|First officer||Simon Beattie|
|Second officer||Tim Buck|
|Lords, Priests, Sailors, Singers, Entertainers and other Attendants||Jane Morris, Ann Shepherd, Ann Christys, Hermione Miltiadou, Ele Beattie and members of the cast|
|Directors||Georgina Ferry & Ian Wood|
|Lighting designer & Technical director||David Long|
|Stage carpenter||William Martin|
|Poster Design||Daniel Clatworthy|
|Front of House||Jane Hall, Janet Painter|
|Set||Robert Fitzmartin & Henry VIII|
|Oboe, Cor Anglais||Simon Denison|
|Clarinets||Carwyn Thomas, Katy Lawrence|
|Keyboards||Henry Ward, Richard Morris|