Words: Nathaniel Bullough. Photos: Mark McNulty
There’s just something about being outside, a certain je ne sais quoi that heightens the attraction; from barbeques, to festivals, being out in the elements just enhances the experience. With this in mind, my excitement was tangible as I made my way to the Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre to see Twelfth Night, praying the dark clouds above pass.
Fortunately they did, but even a smattering of rain would have struggled to dull the occasion.
Twelfth Night is a deviously witty comedy, set in the far off lands of medieval Illyria, (modern day Croatia for you non-history geeks!) where a case of misplaced identity ends up causing quite the ruckus. Comedies can often falter if the audience isn’t on side, but from the first minute we were all captivated through this story of love, rejection and intrigue.
The superb actors have to be applauded for their modern day twist on the Shakespearian play, introducing flossing and yoga seamlessly into the action. One of the main highlights of the entire night has to be the unfortunate Malvolio (Samuel Collings), forever the butt of the joke. Samuel gives us a master-class in physical comedy, leaving us all in stitches.
We were kept on our toes throughout and here Shakespeare’s genius shows as layer and layer of deceit builds, as our protagonists fall deeper and deeper into a spider web of their own creation. The tensions racks up, storylines converge and before you know it, you’ve been through all of the emotions in the space of ten minutes.
Chester is blessed with a multitude of outdoor events, and the Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre is the jewel in the crown. Whether you’re a veteran of the Bard’s works, or just fancy a unique night out with some friends, you’ll find plenty of entertainment at Grosvenor Park.
To buy tickets for Twelfth Night, or any other of the shows, visit the www.grosvenorparkopenairtheatre.co.uk website.
We have given Twelfth Night a Bard-tastic five stars.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐