Theatre review: Shakespeare comes to Sleaford

Very fetching in yellow stockings and crossed garters. Paul Sproxton as Malvolio with his tormentors Tony Gordon as Sir Toby Belch and Caroline Johnson as Maria. EMN-191005-110645001
Very fetching in yellow stockings and crossed garters. Paul Sproxton as Malvolio with his tormentors Tony Gordon as Sir Toby Belch and Caroline Johnson as Maria. EMN-191005-110645001

Sleaford Little Theatre truly reached another level with their latest performance of Twelfth Night.

The famous Shakespearean lines, ‘If music be the food of love, play on’, ‘All the world’s a stage’ and ‘Some are born great, others achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them’ were all reeled off in excellent fashion when this invigorated cast trod the boards in their brush with ‘the bard’ in Sleaford Playhouse.

In this ambitious, year-long project, director Maria Bates made her debut with the group and visibly inspired them to deliver one of their best ever plays, with an apparently new-found confidence in delivery.

This good-natured, romantic comedy told the story of a long-lost sister, disguise, mistaken identity, trickery and, ultimately, happy reunions and new loves.

The tale is sewn together by the fool, Feste, played brilliantly by Andrew Rudd. The scene where he torments the proud but duped Malvolio disguised as a Spanish inquisitor was amazingly Pythonesque.

Andrew Canadine teamed up with Tony Gordon and Caroline Johnson to provide a marvellously comedic trio of drinking buddies full of mischief, while Emma Hoare and Hayley Goymer partnered well in their amusing, unlikely courtship.

A tremendously successful project, enhanced by the local folk duo Teri Clarke and Nigel Creasey, which I hope will be repeated.