Review Round Up: Twelfth Night, National Theatre

Simon Godwin directs this new production of Shakespeare’s comedy, starring Tamsin Greig. But does it win over the critics? 

The Guardian: **** “Godwin’s extravagant, rambunctious production there is almost more stuff and notions than even the Olivier can contain.”

The Stage: *** “As a director he’s great at big comedy set-pieces and so it proves here. There is a wonderfully messy booze-fuelled party scene, but there’s a heartlessness to some of the laughs, and often the tenderness and pathos of the play gets lost.”

The Independent: *** “the audience seemed to love the show but it came over to me to be the kind  production that piles it on without sensitively thinking it through.”

City Am: **** “it’s a vibrant, energetic flight of fancy that’s just as skillful as it is enjoyable.”

WhatsOnStage: ****”this isn’t the raunchiest or most radical Twelfth Night; there’s no big revelation. Yet it is stylishly, confidently done, really unleashing the humour.”

Broadway World: **** “Godwin’s bonkers melting pot is thoroughly entertaining – from the combination of modern, retro and Elizabethan styling to startling moments like a drag queen singing Hamlet – and gives this familiar play a welcome shot of adrenaline.”

The Telegraph: *** “Recommended then? Yes, just, sure, but to my mind it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other.”

London Theatre1: **** “This is a fun production with the emphasis on the many comedic elements of the story rather than dwelling on the melodramatic side.”

Radio Times: ***** “Director Simon Godwin is sensitive to the source text, offering a view of its world and ideas that confidently tumble down the ages.”

West End Whingers: “It’s a technically complex production, which utilises the revolve throughout.”

British Theatre.com: ***** “This production has blown open any lingering arguments as to how limiting casting by gender can be, and I hope the theatrical community has taken note.”

London Theatre.co.uk: **** “Simon Godwin’s modern-dress production has the multiple levels of intrigue, deception, comedy and heartbreak playing in parallel against it, with one of the best comedy casts I’ve ever seen assembled on this stage.”

The Upcoming: **** “the production’s silliness can get a bit grating as one urges on the final reveals. Nevertheless, this is a bold attempt to update the text, not through modish means but rather by peeling back to find layers already intrinsic to Shakespeare’s narrative.”

The FT: **** “The sense of sexual topsy-turvy as such may be paradoxically eradicated by all the polymorphousness, but the core of festive comedy remains deliciously in place.”

Exeunt Magazine: “Soutra Gilmour’s set design for Simon Godwin’s production of Twelfth Night is the theatrical equivalent of a pop-up book.”

Evening Standard: **** “The main shortcoming of Simon Godwin’s well-cast production is that, running at a whisker under three hours, it sometimes feels slow. Yet it’s inventive, makes smart use of the resources of the National Theatre’s Olivier stage, and above all has a rich sense of fun.”

West End Wilma: **** “Simon Godwin directs this production, and along with his impeccable cast, manage to wring out every single drop of satire, sarcasm and wit.”

Time Out: **** “It’s not the most cerebral production of a comedy that’s often treated with a lot more seriousness, and though I guess it is pretty woke, it’s not trying to make a big deal of it. Instead it’s one of those Shakespeare revivals that reminds you that with a crack cast and a lot of love, a 400-plus year-old comedy can still deliver the LOLs.”

Culture Whisper: **** “Director Simon Godwin celebrates the topsy-turvy comedy of Twelfth Night with a light, lively production.”

London Box Office: **** “a fresh, fast moving, funny and very collectible production which delivers plenty of laughs and the full power of the play’s gloomy punchline about the fleeting intoxication of love.”

The Daily Mail: *** “This is an inventive production, imaginatively staged in the modern day, but its irony becomes overwhelming. It lacks romantic magic.”

Twelfth Night continues to play at the National Theatre until the 13th May 2017. For more information and to book tickets visit: https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/twelfth-night/whats-on