Review: “Twelfth Night”

The Shakespeare comedy "Twelfth Night" will show in the BVNW PAC April 14-15 to begin BVNW theater's three-part "salute to Shakespeare" series. Senior Olivia Baird attended the final dress rehearsal to give her review.

Olivia Baird, Online Editor

The BVNW theater department will put on three shows in the next two weeks, in a “salute to Shakespeare” series. The first of the three plays, “Twelfth Night,” will show April 14-15 at 7 p.m. on the BVNW Performing Arts Center stage.

The play, a comedy by William Shakespeare, surrounds Viola, who gets separated from her twin brother in a shipwreck. After washing ashore, Viola dresses up as Cesario, a young man, and serves Duke Orsino. Viola falls in love with the duke, but the duke is in love with a woman named Olivia. Olivia’s family has recently died, causing her to swear off seeing men for the coming few years, but against her own plans, Olivia falls in love with Cesario. We see Viola, or Cesario, grow fonder of Duke Orsino, even as the duke asks Cesario to deliver messages of his love to Olivia.

When Viola’s twin resurfaces, the entire cast is thrust into confusion as Olivia mistakes him for Cesario.

Mixed in with comedic elements from drunken suitors and Olivia’s entourage, Viola’s inner conflict of being caught between the one she loves and the one who loves her is both frustrating and interesting. The solution of Viola revealing herself was so clear yet so complicated, it was almost tempting at times to interrupt Duke Orsino while he was caught in a monologue to tell him the truth myself.

In true Shakespeare fashion, there were no set changes in the play, but the variety of scenes and characters kept the play feeling fast-paced. The play was written in 17th-century vernacular, so it did require quite a bit of focus to keep up with the different phrases, but it was certainly easier to swallow and much more entertaining than reading Shakespeare.

Because of my readings of Shakespeare in English class, I was not expecting this play to be nearly as entertaining or comic as it ended up being. Even if theater is not your cup of tea, “Twelfth Night” will certainly change your perception of Shakespeare enough to make it worthwhile.



“An Evening of Culture” will show April 20 and 22 at 7 p.m. in the Little Theatre, and “The Complete Works of Shakespeare” will show April 19 and 21 at 7 p.m., also in the Little Theater. Tickets for all three shows will be sold the night of the show at the door and will cost $6 for students and $8 for adults.