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By Lois Potter (auth.)

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Extra info for Twelfth Night

Sample text

2. The RSC production, directed by Peter Gill, at Stratfordupon-Avon and the Aldwych, 1974-5. The production under discussion was that given at Stratford in 1974, with jane Lapotaire as Viola, Mary Rutherford as Olivia, Patricia Hayes as Maria, john Price as Orsino, David Waller as Sir Toby Belch, Frank Thornton as Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Ron Pember as Feste, and Nicol Williamson as Malvolio. The sets were by William Dudley, costumes by Deirdre Clancy, music by George Fenton, and lighting by Rory Dempster.

Thus, everything, 52 8 ROMANCE including Malvolio's deception, was located in the context of revelry. ' [II iii 111-12] was played straight at the audience (many ofwhom had pints of ale in their hands) and accompanied by murmurs of assent from the musicians. There could be no doubt where sympathy was meant to lie. All four productions were pleasing to look at and did full justice to the music; Twelfth Night is a play which seems to require visual and aural beauty. The musical elaboration which added to the melancholy of the 1969 RSC version served equally well, in the Berkeley version, to create a sense offestive jollity.

Leslie Hotson suggests, in The First Night of 'TwelJth Night' (1954-), that the entire play arose out of a specific holiday occasion. A distinguished Italian visitor to England, Virginio Orsino, attended a performance of an unnamed play at Whitehall, in the presence of the Queen, on Twelfth Night, 34 5 A PLAY FOR ACTORS 1601. Hotson argues that Twelfth Night was that play, that it was written with Orsino's visit in mind, that one of the characters was named in compliment to him, while Olivia was a compliment to the Queen herself (olives being a symbol of peace and thus appropriate to her reign), and that the Malvolio plot was ajoke at the expense of the Controller of the Queen's Household.

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