|Date||7th August 2015|
|Society||Eastbourne Operatic & Dramatic Society|
|Venue||The Italian Gardens Eastbourne|
|Type of Production||Play wih Music|
|Musical Director||James Tomlinson|
Author: Brenda Gower
Another lovely evening in the Italian Gardens with a superb cast giving one of Shakespeare's best loved comedies. The casting was excellent and it was so good to see so many young actors taking part. The twins Sebastian and Viola were played by James Tomlinson and Lyla Schillinger with a maturity beyond their years. Melody Gibson gave a fine performance as Countess Olivia as did Doug Daziel as Duke Orsino. Countess Olivia's household included such wonderful characters, with Mike Barber as the larger than life Sir Toby Belch - a great performance in every way! Jane Tingley gave a very enjoyable portrayal of Maria, the servant whose wisdom was well in excess of the rest of the household. Stephen Lowin was an ideal Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Phil Poole as Malvolio seemed to be extremely pompous to begin with but cross gartering certainly changed his character!. Another wise one is, of course, Feste the fool and Dave Nicholls gave this character everything that was needed. The rest of the cast were all in extremely good form and gave us the comedy, pathos and sheer entertainment that befits this piece. The costumes were superb and the musical accompaniment delightful. We must never forget the army of people who worked so hard to set everything up in this venue and those working with costumes, makeup, lighting, properties and all the myriad jobs that are necessary, together with those looking after the excellent refreshments. "If music be the food of love, play on" - and it did and we all enjoyed the evening.