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Twelfth Night
Twelfth Night

by William Shakespeare
Directed by Lawrence Watling

26th June to 3rd July 2021

Auditions: TBA

Director: Lawrence Watling

Rehearsals: Mon, Wed, Thurs (Some Sundays)

Mobile: 07507 837931


The Play

Twelfth Night is a classic comedy centering around twins, Viola and Sebastian, who are separated after a stormy shipwreck off the coast of Illyria.  To seek her fortune, Viola disguises herself as the young male page Cesario, and gains a position in Duke Orsino’s service. Viola instantly falls for the lovesick Orsino who in turn is coveting the grand Lady Olivia. Orsino sends Viola as Cesario to woo Olivia on his behalf…but of course Olivia falls in love with Cesario! When Viola’s twin Sebastian finds his way to Illyria’s shores, everyone believes him to be Cesario – and comedy ensues! Alongside this plot are many other hapless and hilarious characters; unlikely duo Toby Belch and Andrew Aguecheek wreak havoc with their drunken merriment. Their plot, hatched with Olivia’s bodacious handmaid Maria against Olivia’s snobbish steward Malvolio is sure to have the audience laughing their stockings off. And of course it all ends happily with a good old-fashioned Shakespearean jig! Huzzah!

‘Twelfth Night is Shakespeare's most perfect comedy. It requires a blend of dream and reality, a balance between laughter and pain and a strong, all-round ensemble.’

The Guardian

This is your chance to be part of one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays! Forget the boring classroom renditions. Forget the scary language. Shakespeare is FUN! On this production I want you to experience and enjoy Shakespeare. In my opinion, if you DON’T enjoy doing Shakespeare then you have been doing it wrong. We will work together on the language at your own pace, so please don’t let this put you off! With full Elizabethan dress, amazing characters and a live band, what better way to end the GWT 2020/21 season?

The characters

(With the exception of Viola, Orsino, Olivia and Sebastian, I am happy to be flexible with ages for all other roles).

Viola (Female 20-35) The main protagonist. Viola disguises herself as a young man (Cesario) and becomes a page to Duke Orsino, with whom she falls in love.

Orsino- (Male 30-45) A man of high status. Orsino claims to be in love with Lady Olivia but, really, he is in the love with the idea of being in love.

Olivia- (Female 20-35) A wealthy woman who, when we meet her, is in love with grief. When she meets Cesario, however, everything changes.

Sebastian- (Male 25-35) Viola’s twin brother. Hero type. Ideally, there will be some resemblance to Viola/Cesario!

Feste- (Male any age) The ‘”fool”. Even though he is of the lowest status, he is the most intelligent character in the piece and outwits everybody he meets – an Elizabethan Groucho Marx (without the accent!). Singing required - those auditioning will need to sing a small verse at the audition (Speak to me for song details).

Malvolio- (Male 45-70) Olivia’s pompous steward who is secretly in love with her. Malvolio is fooled into believing that Olivia reciprocates his feelings after reading a (forged letter) that requests him to smile and wear yellow stockings. This results in arguably the most hilarious scene in the play.

Sir Toby Belch- (Male 45-70) Olivia’s high status uncle who likes to eat, drink, be merry and behave like a peasant. Though he is drunk more often than not, he is certainly cunning with a keen eye for money – and lots of it! And a keen eye for Maria too...

Sir Andrew Auguecheek- (Male 20-40) Olivia’s gullible wooer, with more money than sense. Talks the talk but can never walk the walk. An “ll Capitano” (Commedia dell’arte).

Maria- (Female 35-55) A handmaid to Olivia. Saucy, fun, and cunning part. Outwits many of the men around her. Maria, for some reason, is besotted with Sir Toby.

Antonio (Male 45+) – The ship’s captain who is shipwrecked on Illyria with Sebastian. A good, kind man with some lovely moments. A father figure to Sebastian.

Fabian (Male- any age)- A groundsman to the Lady Olivia. Assists in the plot against Malvolio. A good, fun part. This part could potentially be doubled up.

Valentine and Curio (Male any age)- Orsino’s attendants. Even though they do not have a lot to say I want to work with the actors to make these fun, visually comical parts.

Captain, Friar and Servants (Male/Female any age)- Fun cameo roles, will be doubled up with other parts/crew.

Audition Pieces

I will be using The Arden Shakespeare Third series

Please don’t be put off by the number of pages- the majority of the text is the editors notes

Orsino, Curio and Valentine- (Act 1.1) FROM ORSINO: If music be the food of love…. TO play ORSINO: …E’er since pursue me (Page 161-164)

Maria, Sir Toby and Aguecheek-(Act 1.3) FROM SIR ANDREW: Sir Toby Belch, How Now….TO TOBY: …and spin it off (Pages 173-177)

Antonio and Sebastian (Act 2.1) FROM ANTONIO: By your patience… TO ANTONIO: …. and I will go (Pages 205-207)

Malvolio and Viola (Act 2.2) FROM MALVOLIO: Were you not e’en now… TO VIOLA:… hard a knot for me t’untie! (Pages 208-211)

Orsino and Viola (Act 2.4) FROM ORSINO: Come hither boy…TO VIOLA: …To  die even when they to perfection grow. (Pages 227-229)

Fabian, Sir Toby, Augecheek and Maria- (Act 2.5) FROM SIR TOBY: Come thy ways… TO MARIA:…in the name of jesting. (Pages 236-237)

Viola and Feste- (Act 3.1) FROM VIOLA: Save thee friend…To FESTE- …I think I saw your wisdom there (Pages 250-253)

Olivia, Maria and Malvolio- (Act 3.4) FROM OLIVIA: Where’s Malvolio? He is sad… TO OLIVIA: why this is very midsummer madness Pages 273-277)

Sir Toby, Aguecheek, Feste, Sebastian and Olivia- (Act 4.1) FROM: AUGUECHEEK: Now sir, have I met you again… TO OLIVIA ‘O, say so, and so be! (Pages 301-305)

Feste- Sing the first verse from ‘Wind and the rain’ (contact me for details)

FOR CAPTAIN. PRIEST and SERVANTS please state on your audition form

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