Home Show reviews-Brighton TWELFTH NIGHT




By William Shakespeare

Tue 25 – Sat 29 Nov

Eves 7.45pm

Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm


TR_Twelfth Night photo 1, STT and ETT

English Touring Theatre make a welcome return to Theatre Royal Brighton from Tuesday 25 – Saturday 29 November to present TWELFTH NIGHT, Shakespeare’s touching comedy of mischief, madness and infatuation.


Last night the audience, young and old at Theatre Royal Brighton had a rare treat.

“If music be the food of love, play on….”

Twelfth Night is a staple for the younger generation’s GCSE exams so plenty of teenagers were on hand to be thrilled with the bard’s wit and the cast’s acting skills.

Particularly fine was David Fielder playing Sir Toby Belch as it is difficult to play a really convincing drunk. Dona Croll as Maria ably supported a sterling role of Olivia by Rebecca Johnson who ensured spontaneous outbreaks of laughter all the way through.

Michael Benz’s Sebastian complemented the starring performance of Rose Reynolds. Her playing of Viola was breathtaking with her voice crisp and clear. Sadly we only saw her gorgeous rich hair at the beginning and end because for much of the time she was a man.

Afterwards a number of the older members of the audience who had seen earlier versions applauded Director Jonathan Munby’s current masterpiece. “Best ever,”said one. “the suttle changes he’s made managed to keep the youngsters interested right to the end.” Superb!” Said another.

Well worth seeing. Good value for the money.


A shipwreck separates twins, Viola and Sebastian, who unknowingly both begin new lives in Illyria. Believing her brother to be dead, Viola disguises herself as a young man called Cesario and enters into the services of Orsino, the Duke of Illyria.

TR-Twelfth Night photo 2, STT and ETTOrsino is in love with Olivia, a countess who refuses to see suitors for seven years because both her father and brother have recently died. Orsino sends Viola, dressed as Cesario, to profess his love to Olivia, who on meeting Cesario forgets her seven year pledge and falls in love with Cesario. During this time Viola has fallen in love with Orsino.

In the comic subplot Olivia’s Uncle Sir Toby Belch, her potential suitor Sir Andrew Aguecheek, her servant Maria and others trick Olivia’s steward, Malvolio, into thinking Olivia is in love with him. In a letter mimicking Olivia’s handwriting Malvolio is convinced to wear yellow, cross stitched stockings and smile continually leading him to be thought of as mad.

Sebastian arrives in Illyria, mistaking him for Cesario Olivia asks to marry him and they get married in secret. In the final scene Sebastian and Viola are reunited and on learning that Cesario is in fact a woman, Orsino asks for her hand in marriage. Malvolio storms off in fury on realising that he has been tricked.

Jake Fairbrother plays Duke Orsino. His theatre work includes Orphan of Zhao, A Life of Galileo, Boris Gudonov (RSC), and Hamlet (National Theatre). For film, his work includes Skyfall.

David Fielder
David Fielder

David Fielder (Sir Toby Belch). His work includes Fathers and Sons (Donmar Warehouse), The Taming of the Shrew, All’s Well That Ends Well, As You Like It, Hamlet, Richard III, King John and The Tempest (RSC), The Sunshine Boys (Oldham Coliseum), Bronte (The Watermill) and Waiting for Godot (Manchester Library Theatre – MEN Best Actor Award). For television, his work includes Spatz, Floodtide, A Wanted Man, Widows, Mitch, Two’s Company, Softly Softly and The Naked Civil Servant; and for film, The Pledge, Superman III and Yanks.

Rebecca Johnson returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Olivia. She previously appeared in The Comedy of Errors, also directed by Jonathan Munby. Her other theatre work includes Wendy and Peter (RSC), A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and Theatre Rose Kingston), The Vortex (Theatre Rose Kingston), The Way of the World (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Happy Breed (Theatre Royal Bath) and Coram Boy (National Theatre). For television, her work includes Suspects, The Trip, Dark Matters, Five Daughters, Beau Brummell, Spooks and Gentlemen’s Relish; and for film, Artificial Horizon, Shackleton and Two Seconds to Midnight.

Rose Reynolds plays Viola. For theatre, her work includes Titus Andronicus, A Mad World My Masters, Candide (RSC) and Tiger Tail (Nuffield Theatre). For television, her credits include Our Zoo; and for film, The World’s End.

Hugh Ross returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Malvolio. He previously appeared in Hamlet. His other theatre work includes Macbeth, Bent (Trafalgar Studios), A Life (Finborough Theatre), A Plague Over England (Duchess Theatre), Waste (Almeida Theatre), 5/11 (Chichester Festival Theatre), The David Hare Trilogy (Birmingham REP), A Prayer for Owen Meany, Battle Royal, Lady in the Dark (National Theatre) and The Cid (Cheek by Jowl). For television, his work includes The Team, Waterloo Road, Rab C Nesbitt, Jabberwock, Psychoville, Mine all Mine, Sea of Souls, The Cazalets and Sharpe; and for film, Sunset Song, The Iron Lady, Dorian Gray, Young Hannibal, Charlotte Gray, The Four Feathers, Trainspotting and Patriot Games.

TR-Twelfth Night photo 6, STT and ETT

Ross Waiton plays Antonio. He previously worked with English Touring Theatre on Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. His other theatre work includes King Lear, Timon of Athens, Antigone, The Revenger’s Tragedy, Much Ado About Nothing and Saint Joan (National Theatre), Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 (Theatre Royal Bath), The Tempest/As You Like It (The Bridge Project 2010) and Rutherford and Sons (Northern Stage). For television, his credits include Vera, Identity and G Force; and for film, Pride, Skyfall and Film X.

Jonathan Munby, Creative Associate of English Touring Theatre,returns to Sheffield Theatres to direct. His previous work for Sheffield Theatres includes Company, A Number (also Menier Chocolate Factory), Bird Calls and The Comedy of Errors. His other work includes A Human Being Died That Night (Hampstead Theatre and South Africa), Wendy and Peter Pan (RSC), Measure for Measure (Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington DC), ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Prince of Homburg, Life is a Dream (Donmar Warehouse), Serious Money (Birmingham Rep), The Dog in the Manger (Washington Shakespeare Theatre Company), The White Devil (Menier Chocolate Factory), Henry V, Mirandolina (Manchester Royal Exchange), Gilgamesh, Firebrand (National Theatre Studio), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe), Don Giovanni (English Touring Opera) and Nakamitsu (Gate Theatre).

In 2013, English Touring Theatre launched a nationwide poll to find the nation’s favourite play, as part of their 21st birthday year. TWELFTH NIGHT, which polled at no 8, is the first of English Touring Theatre’s productions as part their ‘My Favourite Play’ series.




0844 871 7650*

(booking fee applies)

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