After commanding Berwick’s attention with their take on ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in 2011, Filter Theatre are back in town today with another Shakespearian re-working.
‘Twelfth Night’, like its predecessor is a comedy penned by the Bard, giving Filter licence to make The Maltings stage as chaotic as they’d like.
And fresh from playing the Prince of Wales in the Christmas episode of ‘Downtown Abbey’, cast member Oliver Dimsdale told ‘WOW’ that the show certainly takes things in a far from conventional direction.
“There are a lot of a adaptations of Shakespeare out there so we also strive to be a bit different. Our treatment of ‘Twelfth Night’ was based on our intuition and instinct. No-one really knows for certain how Shakespeare intended it to be performed.
“At the heart of the show is the original text but we’ve used music to make it sing the way we wanted to.
“There must be 10 or 11 different kinds of music in the show from country to ska to thrash metal and with each character having their own monologue it’s a great way to explore their personalties.”
Like ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, mistaken identity is a main theme, with Olivia, Viola, Orsino and Malvolio four of the main victims, and music is Filter’s weapon of choice to fire their thoughts into the audience.
“Take a character like Malvolio for instance,” Oliver, who is also busy with a stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Tale Of Two Cities’ continued.
“He comes across as very straight laced but perhaps he has a deep yearning to be a rock star and get out of the skin he’s in.
“We can translate Shakespeare’s words into whatever music we want to which makes for some very interesting scenes!”
Stepping away from the Bard briefly and onto all things ‘Downtown’, Oliver said he never expected to land a part in the award winning, trans-Atlantic hit show.
“I went for the audition, having only watched a few episodes and I never expected to get the part.
“Being a part of such a national treasure was a really amazing experience and my mum, who is a huge fan, was completely made up that I was in it.
“You can’t really play a royal it’s all about how the other characters react to you and the status they give you.
“I had to remember to snap out of character in the lunch queue!”
Filter did a two day stint in Berwick first time round and are thrilled to be returning after getting rave reviews for ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
“When we arrived at the theatre for the second day we saw a board full of positive tweets and facebook comments about what people thought of our first night performance,” Oliver enthused.
“It’s always great to get that sort of feedback and that’s why we’re so excited to be coming back - Berwick folk really seemed to get what we’re about.”
Reviews for Filter’s ‘Twelfth Night’ have been extremely favourable so far with ‘The Daily Telegraph’ proclaiming “Rock-and-roll Shakespeare’s a blast!” and ‘The Sunday Times’ declaring the show is “the most exciting Shakespeare re-working for years.”
You have two chances to catch ‘Twelfth Night’ in Berwick with performances at 11.30am and 7.30pm today.