“A Harmonised Rendition” says UK-Based Assessor, Gareth Armstrong

The following is a copy of the scene report sheet for the Drama students scene from Twelfth Night as assessed by Gareth Armstrong.

A harmonised rendition of ‘O Mistress Mine’ made a very engaging introduction to this compilation of scenes. The elaborately costumed Elizabethan world conjured up by this group was challenged by the intriguing inclusion of non-contemporary music.

In the scene between Viola and Orsino the performers brought a fair degree of conviction to their roles. Whilst proving a very convincing young man Viola suggested a genuine tenderness in the relationship with Orsino. The unseen gestures of affection as she stood at his shoulder were touching and well timed. Orsino, in spite of some irregularity within the text, grew in confidence and the scene’s narrative line was clear and well paced.

Feste’s musical interludes were skilfully interpolated into the action and added to the play’s inherent lyricism.

In the box tree scene Fabian, Toby Belch and Andrew Aguecheek really relished their mischief and inhabited the comic spirit of play with some skill. Malvolio on his entrance brought a genuine and impressive gravitas to the role, which paid real dividends as the scene developed and his pomposity enraged the gulling trio.

This is a difficult scene to sustain but everyone involved brought a discipline and concentration to the work. The economical blocking ensured that the focus was sharp and consistent.

As an ensemble this group displayed a good sense of audience communication and performed generously together.

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