各国语言/Languages
英语/English 法语/Français 俄语/Русский 阿拉伯语/العربية 西班牙语/Español 德语/Deutsch 日语/日本語 印尼-马来/Indonesia 朝鲜语/한국어 意大利语/Italiano 葡萄牙/Português 印地语/हिन्दी 泰语/Việtไทย 越南语/Tiếng
Welcome to GDUFS!

Simple and Sophisticated

-- Twelfth Night performed by Britain's TNT theatre

PRINT
Written by: Carole TEN & Winnie FENG
Photo by:Xiaoyu HUANG & Ningyuan HU & Peiqi WEN & Qihua SHEN & Junwei SHI
Edited by:James Campion, WANG Zijin |  Date:2017/05/0459 Hits

“When can we get into the theatre?” A girl asked eagerly.

 

“At 18:10, please queue up outside until then”, answered the lady at the ticket office.

 

It was barely 17:30 on April 25th, and some students had already arrived outside Yunshan Hall, with something to fill their stomach and some friends to spend the finest hours. The air was chilly, and the sky gloomy, but their hearts were bright and merry. Their eyes beamed when talking about the play – Twelfth Night – which was to be performed by the UK’s TNT Theatre at 19:00 in the Hall.

 

Half an hour dragged by. At first, a few students wended their way to join the queue, and later, they rushed. The queue wound through the stairs and into the open space before the Hall.

 

The eagerly awaiting audience

 

It was 18:10. The glass door being swung open, students dashed off to get their tickets checked, and then walked to find their seats.

 

With simple stage decoration, the play began in a rather tense atmosphere, as the actors sang out the catastrophe at sea. As the story developed, the atmosphere was lightened, and there was much more to enjoy.

 

Gentlewoman Maria was portrayed by a male actor

 

A highlight of the play was the cross gender performance. In the play, the gentlewoman Maria was acted by a male actor. On the stage, Maria sometimes exploded with laughter, sometimes acted shyly like a blushing bride, and sometimes made fun of the butler Malvolio. “Her” posturing and shyness was vividly performed by a man taller than 1.8 metres. “There are a lot of gender-crossing roles in Shakespeare’s plays. Though Maria was not a main character, the exaggerated action with the gender-crossing made the character more vivid”, the actor of Duke Orsino explained.

 

The other distinguishing feature of the play belongs to the ingenious application of the music. All the actors were amazing singers and players. Each piece of music – a chorus, a violin solo or even a simple pattern of drumbeats – was tailored to the plot and had the power to move the audience. When Malvolio stepped onto the stage, he also invited each side of audience to follow his lead and clap in turn. So their rhythmic applause became an important musical element. Ken, a freshman of GDUFS, expressed his joy: “It feels like I am a part of the play! I could play a trick on Malvolio, too!"

 

A trio

 

Besides, a thick painted board with many trapdoors was the most used prop throughout the play.

 

It gave meanings to the space on stage. For example, Viola (Cesario) opened the window on the board to see Orsino, symbolizing that she opened up her mind and reveal her love for him in the depths of her heart.

 

After the performance, the actors accepted interviews with great passion. They talked about their feelings and shared some skills about acting.

 

“This is my fourth time in Guangzhou, but I’ve never performed here (in Yunshan Hall) before. I had fun tonight”, said Rachel Middle with a sweet smile, who acted as Viola and Cesario in the play.

 

She remarked that students at GDUFS generally had a good grasp of English and understood most of the jokes and got more excited and more into the story.

 

When being asked about the most difficult scene to perform, she recalled: “I think it’s the very first one with Orsino”, She explained that it was Viola’s desire for his love and her fear of this love being unrequited that made the character rather conflicted. “As Viola, I just wanted Orisino to be happy, so I help set him up with Olivia. But at the same time, I don’t want to. It’s really hard to get that across.”

 

“We’ve only been doing the play for two weeks. And that’s one scene I’m still finding quite difficult.” She added.

 

“I love the song which Cesario sang for Orsino when he was taking a shower.” Echo Lai, a student, told us about her favorite part of the play.

 

Backstage, some students preparing for the Drama Night also asked the professional actors from the TNT Theatre for advice on performing their own plays.

 

Glyn Connop and a male student knelt by a box, and Glyn looked into his eyes and said, "Sometimes, you have to make a small gesture for effect so that they (the audience) are with you. And they’ll believe you, and go there. So it’s about fully committing to what you are doing, and that should translate to an audience."

 

Chevin Dash also answered a few questions about the preparation before the performance. "We usually do warm-ups for about 45 minutes before every show."

 

"We’ve changed lot of things. And there’re quite a few characters we’ve just cut. We’ve made it a bit simpler, but all the stories are still there. Because you have few people, it’s intimate as well, and it’s lovely being in a small company.", said Rachel.

 

"I drew a lot of inspiration from their performance about how to use the props skillfully and to enthrall the audience with few actors. Their performance was simple in a sophisticated way", said ZHU Shengxiong, a student from the crew of Doll’s House.

 

The students bid the actors goodbye and walked out of the Hall. Outside, the sky was purple, and for them, this night was surely unforgettable.

 

The Cast List

Orsino & Maria: Jean – Paul Pfluger

Viola & Cesario: Rachel Middle

Captain & Malvolio: Gareth Fordred

Olivia: Chevin Dash

Sir Toby Belch: Glyn Connop

Sir Andrew Aguecheek & Feste: Alister Hoyle