Twelfth Night | Bravehearts 2.0Left – Jack Beeby, Jonathon Simpson, Josh Cameron and Maddison Pelzer. Photo – Kevin Hopkins

From one of the most consistently impressive Shakespeare companies comes Bravehearts 2.0, Twelfth Night.

An extension of the Australian Shakespeare Company, Bravehearts 2.0 in conjunction with the Young Bard’s is a program that gives young aspiring thespians the opportunity to realise their dreams and perform some of the most loved and difficult prose on the national stage.

For Bravehearts' winter production, audiences were treated to Twelfth Night, one of Shakespeare’s more ridiculous comedies where mistaken identity is rife and love triangles become increasingly more complex throughout the play.

After surviving a shipwreck, a young woman, Viola (Danielle Butlin) is separated from her brother whom she believes has drowned. Viola conceals herself as a male and enters the service of Orsino (Otis Elston), the Duke whom is in love with the grieving Olivia (Molly Rose Neylan).

Unfortunately Olivia does not share Orsino’s attraction and falls in love with the disguised Viola instead, who in turn falls in love with Orsino, in a complicated gender-bending plot of comical errors.

Added to the mix is Olivia’s drunken uncle Sir Toby (professional Shakespeare actor, Josh Cameron) and the delightfully cheeky Maria (Anna Clark) with their band of mischievous trouble makers who only serve to further confound the situation by tricking the arrogant Malvolio (Jack Beeby) into believing the beautiful Olivia is in love with him.

Stealing the show in his bright yellow rollerblades, Beeby is a one-man comedy show as he bumbles through his devotion to the unknowing Olivia. A character you can only love to hate, Beeby’s interpretation of Malvolio is brilliant and one of the highlights of the show.

As is Casey Withoos performance of the “fool” Feste. Withoos vocal ability is beyond stunning and the inclusion of her singing talents contrast with the madness of Shakespeare’s plot allowing for moments of clarity and peace.

Twelfth Night is another exceedingly wonderful production by the entire cast and crew of Bravehearts 2.0 and I cannot commend these young actors highly enough. They perform 15th Century text with such respect and understanding that it is impossible not to be taken under the spell of some of the worlds’ most iconic plays.

Bravehearts 2.0 – the Australian Shakespeare Company's Young Ensemble
Twelfth Night
by William Shakespeare
Venue: On Q Performing Arts Centre, Williamstown VIC
Dates: 10 – 13 July, 2013