Bell Shakespeare has today announced cast members for its upcoming national touring production of Twelfth Night. The production will open at Orange Civic Theatre on 28 July, before traveling to 25 venues across the country including Canberra Theatre Centre from 13 – 21 October and Sydney Opera House from 26 October – 19 November.
To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the play's publication in 1623 as part of Shakespeare's First Folio, this new production of Twelfth Night is a fresh retelling of the romantic comedy, offering a dark collision of hidden identities and unrequited love which asks audiences to find light in the dark. The production will star film, television and theatre actor, Alfie Gledhill in the role of Viola, alongside Keith Agius, Isabel Burton, Amy Hack, Garth Holcombe, Tomáš Kantor, Mae Lacanilao, Ursula Mills and Jane Montgomery Griffiths.
Directed by Heather Fairbairn, who has worked internationally with companies including the Royal Opera House and the Royal Court Theatre in London, the production will feature original music from Aria Award winner Sarah Blasko, bringing a unique vision to Shakespeare's most musical play.
Director Heather Fairbairn said: "I'm fascinated by the enigmatic nature of Twelfth Night, which transcends time and place. In this production, there is no specified setting which, coupled with the haunting nature of Sarah Blasko's music, lends an otherworldly feel to the play.
"I'm delighted to be working with such a stellar cast of actors, who each bring something unique to their role. The production will subvert standard casting approaches in regards to gender, with the character of Malvolio transformed to Malvolia, played by the wonderful Jane Montgomery Griffiths, and the lead female role of Viola played by Alfie Gledhill; the result will offer a timely exploration of the fluidity of gender and sexuality."
Twelfth Night tells the story of the aristocratic Viola, who finds herself washed up in a strange new land and, determined to survive, disguises herself as a man to secure a position in the household of Duke Orsino, where passion, intrigue and mistaken identity ensue.
Jane Montgomery Griffiths as Malvolia
Keith Agius as Toby Belch
Isabel Burton as Sebastian
Alfie Gledhill as Viola
Amy Hack as Maria
Director Heather Fairbairn
Set and Costume Designer Charles Davis
Lighting Designer Verity Hampson
Composer Sarah Blasko
Sound Designer David Bergman
Garth Holcombe as Orsino
Tomáš Kantor as Feste
Mae Lacanilao as Antonio
Ursula Mills as Olivia