The Twelfth Night play 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The outrageous Sir Toby (Erez Shafrir) wears lace-trimmed underpants, and
priggish Malvolio’s (Nir Ron) yellow stockings are lacy, too. Sir Andrew the
asinine (Liron Baraness) wears skirts. Stiff corsets conceal breasts or their
lack. A back wall of mirror-like panels on Miki Ben-Cnaan’s effective set throws
back multiple and distorted images. Solid pillars move. Polina Adamov’s costumes
look like Oxfam rejects.
Indeed, gender ambiguity, the shifting
perceptions of love, and the inexorability of time underpin Udi Ben-Moshe’s
canny direction of this intelligently marvelous Twelfth Night.
seems able to coax superlative performances from actors, and he does it again
here so that two hours – there’s no intermission – pass in a flash. The late
Ehud Manor’s translation reflects both the wit and the poetry of Shakespeare’s
language, and the actors deliver it as if newly minted.
black-robed Feste (Yehoyachin Friedlander), master of ceremonies and clown,
dominates the production in what is surely Friedlander’s finest performance to
date. His Feste subtly combines mischief and compassion, and he sings Yosef
Bardanashvilli’s haunting music beautifully.
Nili Rogel keeps Viola
sharp, sassy and very much on the verbal ball while maintaining her femininity,
the femininity that so confuses Orsino, here played by very young actor Ariel
Wolf with a little too much teen petulance and flounce.
looks like the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come as she makes her initial
appearance robed in black, and the obviously fake hairpiece distracts. For all
that, her Olivia is poised, both cool and passionate, very much in
Erez Shafrir’s boozily belligerent Toby, Nir Ron’s cadaverous,
mincing Malvolio and Liron Baraness’s pomaded and quivering Sir Andrew are
enough to make one weep – tears of laughter. Irit Pashtan’s assured and
self-assured Maria completes the quartet. A must-see.