Sir Toby Belch and friends

Twelfth Night or What You Will (2012)

Wed. 23rd to Sunday 27th May

Thursday 31st May to Sat. 2nd June

Directed by Richard Forsyth

Music by Chris Dubé

Read our 4 star review in The Scotsman.


Videos of Twelfth Night can be found on YouTube. Watch them below or go to the Twelfth Night Playlist on YouTube to see all the videos.

Act 1 Scene 5

Act 3 Scene 4 (Part 1)

Act 5 Scene 1


Look through photographs from the performances Twelfth Night.

View the photographs on Flickr.

Twelfth Night (2012)


Orsino and Viola

The Director’s View

Richard Forsyth, this year’s director, provides his take on the play.

Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s best-loved festive comedies. The love-triangle between Orsino, Olivia, and Viola has ageless appeal, and the ill-treatment of Malvolio by Sir Toby, Maria and Sir Andrew also has its fans, though perhaps they are a little shame-faced by the end of the play.

In Twelfth Night, the impediments to true love come not from parents or the older generation, but from the failings of the characters themselves. The narcissistic Orsino, the proud Olivia, and even the aging playboy Sir Toby, have to be given all the help Feste and Viola / Cesario can find to overcome their personal failings and submit to the demands of love. Shakespeare has provided us with a study of the different ways people love, and are sometimes driven mad!

The play’s full title is “Twelfth Night, or What You Will”. What you will can be understood in a number of ways: what happens to you (the characters in the play) is “What you will”; what happens in the play is what you (the audience) will; and of course “What you will” has sexual overtones.

“Twelfth Night” was also significant for Elizabethans. It is, of course, the twelfth day of Christmas, when, in an Epiphany, the Wise Men see Jesus at Bethlehem, and perhaps there is a less sacred epiphany at the end of the play. “Twelfth Night” was also the last day of an Elizabethan “Feast of Fools”, and Feste’s name strongly suggests that he was the Fool of the Feast.

In our production we have taken the idea of the Feast of Fools to incorporate a “Bacchanalian Band” led by Feste to lead the audience from scene to scene. We are also fortunate to have the services of talented local musicians who have composed and play the music for the Bacchanalian Band, for Feste, and the rest of the cast.

Each year we use Traquair House and its gardens as the set for our Shakespeare production. This year we have been unable to resist the temptation of a mostly sixteenth-century set, with a sixteenth-century play to use sixteenth-century costumes.

We hope the audience will enjoy the play, the set, the music and the costumes.