Birmingham Stage Company’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night premiered in the city for just two days before it tours the Middle East.
Which was a shame as the production, directed by Andrew Normington of the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, is lively and entertaining.
There is minimal staging, simply three walls which double up as hedges for garden scenes, but that does not matter as the action is concentrated and quick paced. There are some fine performances from Emma Hamilton who plays a quick-witted disguised Viola and Emma Clifford who is a refined Olivia.
There are plenty of comic moments with Morgan Philpott as an affable Sir Toby Belch and Neal Foster as the foolish fop Sir Andrew Aguecheek.
Colin R Campbell gives us a Puritan Malvolio whose pomposity is pricked when he is tricked into seeming insanity and who manages to evoke pity despite being so unpleasant.
This was a fleeting visit for the show which has been commissioned for the Abu Dhabi Festival and is also due to play London. Hopefully it will return to Birmingham in the future as it would be a shame for so few people see the production on its home territory.