Rehearsing the fight scene
Hilarity from the Old Vic & Old Vic Company’s Fine Shakespeare have been added to the Vivien Leigh Article Archive. Both articles review “Twelfth Night” when it appeared in Wellington, New Zealand during the 1961-62 Old Vic Tour. Both reviews compliment the men actors, set, and costumes but criticize Vivien Leigh’s Viola. See below:
The Wellington Opera House last night stamped and clapped its pleasure at the opportunity to see an Old Vic company once again.
The opening performance of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” fully deserved the applause it received. For this bawdy comedy of transvestism–a girl disguised as boy with its entanglements and rathermore difficult disentanglements– which borders on the tedious in lesser hands, rose last night to moments of rich hilarity.
Its more fantastic and hence less acceptable moments that demand too much of the credulity of a modern audience were lost in the general fluidity of Robert Helpman’s taut direction and the fine, polished technique of the east.
Indicative of this, and of the audience acceptance, was the fact that the play needed no more than one interval in its two-hour passage– a lesson for local producers.
If it had a disappointment, perhaps we ourselves are to blame in always expecting greatness from its principal lady, Vivien Leigh.
There can be no question of the magnetism of Miss Leigh’s stage presence, nor of the quality of her experience, and yet last night, in spite of the clearly designed scheme to keep her at the centre, Miss Leigh was merely a bright star among other stars, rather than a brilliant sun. CONTINUE READING