Classical music, opera, musicals etc


Just saw the MTC’s 12th Night production, which is just about over, and I can thoroughly recommend it to punters who aren’t like me, who according to my better half, who has to put up with my whinging, is just about everybody else. Almost a unanimous standing ovation, except for one malcontent. Anyway it had a handful of the sorts of celebrities who populate Celebrity Island, one outstanding performance and one notable absence.
The best part of the production was it was set in basically but not quite Elizabethan times, hopefully we are nearing the point where Shakespeare, who could write, is presented in something other than contemporary office suites.
The second best thing was the acting treasure Richard Piper’s take on Sir Toby Belch, as exuberabant and skilled a performance as I have seen in quite a few years - for mine he carried the play.
Colin Hay sang most of the poppish songs competently but unfortunately they asked him to deliver the Clown’s famous lines as well which he did with all the animation of a corpse. Still he’s not an actor and unlike film and TV they can’t edit out your acting limitations on stage. Frank Woodley was OK until he remembered he was Frank Woodley and called for extra ham. His extended slapstick attempt to assume the role of a drunk and take over a minute to walk through a doorway was embarrassing grandstanding, had I been Piper I’d have yawned and walked off stage.
The rest of the cast was fair to very good, the Countess was especially impressive.
Oh yes-the notable absence, don’t “Rush” down to see it because legal reasons mean he’s not available, but boy I wish he was! According to the broshure I have emblazoned with Geoffrey Rush’s dare I say it mug, he was set to perform the role of Malvolio. an overweening character who misinterprets the actions of a beautiful woman as sexual advances. That would have gone down well eh? Mind you he’d have been better than the pouting tryhard who picked up his role.
The crowd gave it 10 out of 10 and my better half said it was lively entertainment. I enjoyed lunch.


I can’t resist saying that 12th Night was the first Shakespeare I ever saw. I was in Grade 6 at Ivanhoe State and our teacher told us we should go and see it and explained the plot and all the characters to the whole class.

I doubt that would happen in many primary schools today.

The theatre company was the Old Vic. Viola was performed by Vivien Leigh. The audience was almost entirely school kids (it was a matinée) and it was hilarious.

I’ll take my hand off it now. Both hands.