Let me first say that Twelfth Night was definitely not what I had expected. I thought it was going to be really boring. But it turned out that it was a comedy. I actually liked it a lot! I was constantly laughing at all of the little jokes. It was part of Shakespeare on the Saskatchewans 2007 Summer season. They build an outdoor stage, under a big white tent, every summer, in a park right by the Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon.
I am going to do a little bit of comparing now. I will compare the movie "She's The Man" to the play "Twelfth Night". Actually the movie is pretty much the whole reason why I had to go and see the play. My mother found out that I was watching the movie, over and over, and shes a book doctor (thats a family joke, she just got her PhD in English). In 2001, when the first Harry Potter movie was coming out, she made a rule that I had to read the book (well, actually, back then, I had to let her finish reading the book to me) before I could see the movie. When she found out that I was watching Shes The Man, I got a new rule. Now I have to see the original play when my favourites are in a re-make.
She's The Man is mostly about soccer. Amanda Bynes plays Viola who pretends to be her brother Sebastian so she can play on the guy's soccer team and prove she is a good enough soccer player to play with the boys. Channing Tatum, who plays Duke, helps Viola so she can make first string on the boys soccer team. There are a lot of funny experiences in the movie. I could really relate to the movie because I play soccer in spring and summer. And my team, the Eastside Flames, did very well this year! So I would have to say I liked She's The Man better because of the soccer setting.
Like I said before, I wasnt very excited about going to see Twelfth Night because I though Shakespeare meant it would be boring. But now that I know Twelfth Night has lots and lots of funny parts in it. I liked every part that Sir Toby Belch (Alphonse Gaudet) was in. He always had me laughing. The thing I most liked about the play was that it was way funnier then I had expected. So Twelfth Night was a real surprise.
I also liked the play because they had really good actors and actresses. It looked like they were having a lot of fun: playing jokes on each other; running, really running, on and off stage - right through the audience; and singing and dancing around when they were on the stage.
One of the best parts was when Sir Toby Belch, Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Paul Schulz) and Fabian (Alden Adair) dance around the stage singing Who Let the Dogs Out. Maria (Kari Wells) is just wicked bad in encouraging and helping those guys play their big trick. I sure didnt expect to see that in a Shakespeare play. And they had even cooler music in the play. Feste (Tom OHara) had a guitar with him most of the time and would sing parts of one of my favourite Three Days Grace songs, Pain. There I was, at a Shakespeare play, and they were doing music thats on my iPod! Thats definitely "not" boring.
The only part I wasnt sure about is that I thought Duke Orsino was supposed to be the really handsome one. Brad Loucks has very very blue eyes but, for me, Sebastian (Will Brooks) was much better looking. Anita Smith (Olivia) did a super good job of showing what a girl with a big crush acts like. No wonder Viola (Clare Middleton) gets freaked out and has to keep running away from her. I hope I never behave like that! Malvolio (Brad Grass) isnt much better when it comes to his big crush on Olivia. Brad Grass makes Malvolio go from being a totally strict jerk to a wild and crazy-looking idiot, in yellow spandex leggings and a full length leopard skin cloak, who just looks all ridiculous, especially when he struts around the stage showing off. Obviously boys can get pretty silly about crushes too.
Shakespeare on the Saskatchewans Twelfth Night was a great experience for me. It really got me excited about the many other plays I could see. I was supposed to be going to go see Julius Caesar too but I couldnt because I had a play of my own that I was performing in the night my Mom was going. Now I am really sad that I couldn't go because now I actually want to see it. I do plan on reading it. Shakespeare wrote many great plays in his day. My favorite would have to be Romeo and Juliet. We are going to study it in Grade Nine this fall. It is a classic love story that always just gets to me. A couple of day's ago I got my own copy of the book.
My advice to people out there who haven't seen one of Shakespeares plays is to go see one. You might be surprised about how much you like it.
W D McConney is a writer living in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Click above to tell a friend about this article.