The Cotswold Arcadians present open-air Shakespeare every Summer in the Cotswolds
Our 2018 production will be Shakespeare's
23 - 28 July, 2018
England in the roaring ‘20s. Bright young aristocrats flock to spend time in the fashionable seaside resort of Illyria, where there’s no shortage of champagne cocktails, Rockefeller oysters and other tantalising distractions. Their host, hopeless romantic Duke Orsino has tried everything to make the achingly glamorous Countess Olivia fall in love with him, but she’s vowed to stay away from men for seven long years, whilst she grieves for her dead brother. ‘If music be the food of love, play on’ a dejected Orsino tells the band, as Olivia’s fool, Feste, hooks and tickles revellers with witty pranks and jokes and paranoid party-pooper Malvolio plots revenge on anyone he suspects may secretly be sneering at him.
Meanwhile, a storm in the Channel brings near marine tragedy. Twins Viola and Sebastian are shipwrecked and washed ashore, several miles apart from each other. Naturally, each presumes the other is lost to the sea. Knowing that Orsino is wealthy, generous and single, Viola spots an opportunity for a job and calculates that her best chance is to crash the party, disguised as a boy. But her plan backfires and she finds herself being courted by Olivia, who is willing to break her man-fast, so strong is her infatuation. No long and languorous soliloquies in this play – it’s a racey, pacey, romcom packed with naughty humour, mistaken identity, gender switching, deceit, confusion, rollicks, frolics and beautiful poetry, beribboned and bejewelled in plentiful music from start to finish.
Twelfth Night will be directed by Geoff Butterworth, well-known on the Hatherop lawn for his portrayal of some of Shakespeare’s saucier characters, as well as for playing a rather more serious Yano in this year’s Pericles. He is also responsible for marketing many a successful production at the Cotswold Playhouse. He’s looking for a dozen hard-working actors to play the major roles and several others to play rich folk, household staff and messengers as well as musicians and singers. Absolutely anyone is welcome to audition on Sunday 5th November – drop in any time between 11am and 4pm – at Quenington Village Hall. Geoff will be posting audition pieces on the Arcadians’ website in September. If you’d like to know more, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org