I had such a lovely Sunday afternoon with my daughter, Brynne, sitting in the Main Tent at Bard on the Beach and enjoying a magnificent production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.
Bard on the Beach, is one of Canada’s largest professional Shakespeare Festivals. This year, Bard is celebrating its 24th season by offering three Shakespeare plays: Twelfth Night, Hamlet and Measure For Measure as well as a Timothy Findley’s play – Elizabeth Rex.
This rendition of Twelfth Night is set in 1913 at the luxuriant, European, “What You Will Hotel & Spa” in 1913. Hilarity and misadventure abound as love is lost and found amid mistaken identities, cross-dressing, drunken comradery, and mischievous tricks.
The cast is exceptional, the set is amazing, the costumes are fabulous and the playful display of naked male bums was dishy(!). There could not have been a more gorgeous setting for a Shakespeare Festival than Vanier Park. The BMO Mainstage is open-ended so that the audience has a stunning view of mountains, ocean and the Vancouver skyline that adds a certain panache to the whole experience. There was a beautiful moment when three songbirds flew into the tent and fluttered around the actors and the audience, seemingly on cue.
Kudos to everyone involved in bringing Twelfth Night to Vancouver — it was marvelous!