Adelaide Fringe 2019: Twelfth Night by The HandleBards

The HandleBards: Twelfth Night
Gluttony Park
On until 17 March


A few years ago in Geneva we saw a production of Twelfth Night that was spoilt by the decision to change the gender of a couple of characters. It rendered the story ridiculous in parts and the repartee inexplicable. The robustness of Shakespeare was sorely challenged by that Cambridge University production.

There were no such disappointments on this occasion. The all male cast, everybody taking on a variety of roles, were hilarious and entirely in the spirit of Shakespeare – as one of my companions commented, he would have loved it. The split second timing in the most chaotic of conditions had to be perfect, and that with the use of audience members who were all completely sporting.

This is a perfect show and I hope that it gets more full houses for its last two performances. However, the venue, Gluttony Park is dreadful. We had to put up with booming bass coming from somewhere – at 5.30pm? I had thought I would be safe from that – and then outside interference got worse. I imagine there are lots of shows on there at which words are kept to a minimum and there are no demands on the audience. This show deserved much better. I’d love to see it on at The Bakehouse or Holden St. The Little Theatre at Adelaide Uni would have sufficed too. Up to this point I’d boycotted Gluttony and The Garden….I’m glad I saw this show but sheesh, big venues. Can’t you provide conditions that respect the performers and the audience? Almost nothing would make me go back there again. But yes, I’d do it for more of this.

So, still go! If I could get over that, anybody can. But I am hoping when the HandleBards come back next year that they are able to match up to a venue more deserving of their wonderful antics.

HandleBards, please come back. We love you!!