“Twelfth Night is a lovely mellow play. A play which has more comedy in it, in the scenes involving Malvolio. Donald Sinden was a wonderful Malvolio and he has a marvellous essay about it, which I talk about in my book about great Shakespeare actors. He’s very good at describing the self-consciousness of the actor in manipulating his audience as Malvolio. At the same time, it’s a maturely romantic play. Take the lover Orsino, his opening scene, “If music be the food of love, play on” is one of the best known lines in Shakespeare. It’s a play that rises to a great climax of reunion. Again, it looks forward to the late plays like The Winter’s Tale in the almost miraculous sense you get in the final scene when Viola is reunited with her brother she believed to be dead. It’s a very beautiful and very moving scene. It covers a wide range of comedy and romance. It’s very entertaining in the scenes with Sir Toby Belch.” Read more...
Stanley Wells recommends the best of Shakespeare’s Plays