French company Eat a Crocodile take Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and refashion it into a whimsical retelling, played out of five scrappy red beach huts positioned at the back of the stage. It’s a sweet, if flawed production that doesn’t ever quite tap into the poetry or raucous humour of the original.
Performed in French with English supertitles, there are glimpses of Shakespeare’s text in the translation, but the play has been cut and rearranged to whizz through in a run time of two hours with no interval. A cast of five play all the characters, with Andrew Aguecheek being a ventriloquist’s dummy manipulated by Toby Belch (played by Vincent Berger). Antonio Gil Martinez plays Orsino and Malvolio and is hilarious as both – he’s a slimy, romantic ballad-loving Orsino, while his jutting jawed, thinning haired Malvolio is a total hoot. (WHATS ON STAGE)
This is a show suffused in both music and silence, in love and hate, the tragic and the side-splitting. When Antonio Gil Martínez’s Malvolio fantasises about taking his revenge on Sir Toby and cutting him down to size it is both horrifying and hilarious. The ambiguities and erotic possibilities of Viola’s disguise as a boy are magnified by the fact that everyone here is playing a role. ( THE GUARDIAN)