Twelfth Night – Project Arts Centre – Review

Twelfth Night

A Christmas Play, in the Middle of Summer? What madness is this? But yet, ‘If Music be the food of love, play on’ and thus opens Twelfth Night‘, an everyday tale of shipwrecks, carousing, love, cross-dressing and four hundred year old gags that, rightly delivered, can still be pretty funny. In a no-frills included, pared down production at the Project, the innovative and young professional troupe AC, hit most of the marks in a comedy that’s proving to be timeless. The fact that an enthusiastic audience is still laughing at lines more than four centuries after they were written is a testament to the staging by the Director and commitment of the cast to this most enjoyable evening.

You might want to brush up on a synopsis of the comedy before going, but some strong, natural performances will convey most of the meaning to you anyway. Daithi Mac Suibhne plays Feste the fool with an entertaining combination of physical and verbal dexterity and provides much of the musical accompaniment to the play. Duncan Lacroix gives a great turn in playing Malvolio, the old killjoy, a character whom Shakespeare really gives it to with both barrels. Director Peter Reid let’s the text speak for itself; a classic, old-school production not seeking to go beyond the language and characters. Plaudits also go to the leading ladies: Gail Brady being a sprightly Viola (is he a man, is she a woman?…Shakespeare is just so confusing dude), Dagmar Doring as an enchanting (and sexy) Olivia and Alex Cusack as the saucy wench maid Maria. Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Sir Toby Belch are more than ably portrayed by Patrick O’Donnell and Paul Kealyn respectively. Twelfth Night, like Shakespeare, can be done anytime of the year and hopefully this enthusiastic, professional and lively production will introduce a younger generation to the playwright. Spoiler alert…there just might be a happy ending after all.

By Dan O’Neill – Dan writes on TV at and on Politics at

Twelfth Night runs at the Project Arts Centre – 4 – 20 July ~ Tickets €16/14

Matinee, 13 & 20 July (2.30pm) ~ Tickets €12

Duration ~ approx 135mins (including interval)


Post-show Discussion: Thursday 11 July

Categories: Theatre

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