Review: Twelfth Night by Moot House Players: A wonderful, crazy production where girls will be boys and boys will be girls….

Entertainment / Fri 28th Jul 2023 at 09:42am

BONKERS. This production by Moot House Players is stark raving bonkers. It is also a must see production that was so vivid, so well produced and acted that it was a joy to watch and review.

It also benefited from having some of the best actors in Harlow, who were also on top of their game.

Even the relatively straight roles such as Alyssa Upton as Viola were so on point and professional that they allowed all the “characters” their space.

Jack Downey’s interpretation of Malvolio was hilarious. There were so many characters in there that we don’t know where to start but he was so funny, so physical and dominated the stage. It was one of the best performances we have seen all year.

As we said there were so many good actors on top of their game. Gem Colton as a grungy Sir Toby Belch and Linda Helm as a raving Andrew Aguecheek were a fantastic double act, working off each other with such energy but, as in all the characters, staying true to Shakespeare’s play.

And that was vital. Yes, director Eve-Marie Florence Downey wanted to make Shakespeare accessible for everyone and she certainly has but she has blended her own take whilst staying faithful.

Eve-Marie is such a talented director and it is clear that she and her whole team put so much work and poured their heart and soul into this production. It is also great that young directors such as Eve-Marie are believed in and given free rein to do this work.

It doesn’t seem a week since we have seen Chris Millington in a production and here we have Marian the Maid played as a, well, a northern Liberace..Like I said, you had to see it.

Another class act was Concetta Clarizio as Olivia. Again she commanded the stage and had such presence and dynamism. We are very lucky in Harlow to have such gifted, versatile and talented actors.

There was also a great use of music. Yes, Chris Griggs Feste was a wonderful minstrel and his scene with Malvolio in the jail was hilarious but throughout the play music was so vital to everything. Especially the use of Lola. Perfect. Just perfect.

May we also praise the rest of the ensemble for their work. Adam Thompsn, Ginny Elliston, Mike and Helen Rees all performed admirably and made it such a strong production.That is also true of all the creatives and crew. It was such a vivid set.

Twelfth Night continues on Friday Friday July 28th and Saturday July 29th

Go to their Facebook page for more details.




Viola and her twin brother Sebastian have been shipwrecked; each believes the other to be drowned. Viola disguises herself as a young man and, under the name of Cesario, gets a job as a servant for the Duke, Orsino.

Orsino is in love with Olivia, but she’s mourning for her dead brother, so has rejected all his advances so far. He sends Cesario (who is really Viola) with love letters to woo Olivia on his behalf. Unfortunately for the Duke, Olivia is taken in by Cesario’s disguise and falls in love with him.

Viola has secretly fallen in love with Orsino, and Orsino is confused by his feelings for his new ‘male’ servant. So, Viola loves Orsino, Orsino loves Olivia and Olivia loves Cesario/Viola.  

Olivia’s butler, Malvolio, disapproves of all the other members of her household – her drunken uncle Sir Toby Belch, his friend Sir Andrew Aguecheek and her servants, Maria, Feste and Fabia. Fed up with Malvolio constantly spoiling their fun, they decide to play a practical joke on him.

Malvolio is secretly in love with Olivia, and the others trick him into believing that these feelings are returned. Maria forges a letter to Malvolio, supposedly from Olivia, suggesting that she loves him and he should wear yellow stockings and smile all the time. Malvolio does as the letter suggests, and Olivia thinks he has gone mad, so has him locked up. 

Viola’s brother, Sebastian, who believes his sister is dead, arrives with his friend and protector, Antonio, who rescued him from the shipwreck. 

Sebastian meets Olivia. She mistakes him for Cesario and asks him to marry her, he agrees. 

Lots of confusion follows around the mistaken identity of Sebastian and Cesario, and exactly who is promised to whom. Eventually all is revealed, the brother and sister are reunited and the love triangle is resolved into two couples, Sebastian and Olivia, and Viola and Orsino.

Finally, Viola discovers the trick that has been played on Malvolio, and he’s released from confinement. 

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1 Comment for Review: Twelfth Night by Moot House Players: A wonderful, crazy production where girls will be boys and boys will be girls….:

Leigh Murphy
2023-07-28 12:59:47

I saw this last night and it was the best of entertainment! So funny. So much talent and it was obvious that the whole cast were having a ball which made it a joy to watch!

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