Tami Mansfield as Olivia plays alongside Daniel Allan as Malvolio as part of Nelson Summer Shakespeare’s performance of Twelfth Night. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Summer Shakespeare set to impress region


Fancy an evening out in the meadows, enjoying a picnic and a professional rendition of one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays?

You’re in luck – Nelson Summer Shakespeare returns on Thursday at Fairfield House with a performance of Twelfth Night.

“It’s got lost love and love found, drama and silly comedy,” says director Giles Burton. “It will be great entertainment for the whole family.”

Giles says it’s a great way to introduce anyone to the work of Shakespeare as his primary concern is making sure the play is well understood.

“It has these love stories which are very moving and very comic elements. It’s one of the original romantic comedies.”

Giles says it is a professional production which brings together a talented local cast, many of whom were involved with last year’s sell-out performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“We are very lucky to have such great performers who we can call on here.”

Giles says shipwrecked twins, disguises, plots and counter plots makes Twelfth Night one of Shakespeare’s most adored plays.

This play is set in the 1920s on the coast of Illyria, making for a very “Downton Abbey” vibe – perfect for Fairfield House, where the production starts. It then moves to the Marlborough Sounds, Richmond and Motueka.

The production is “pay what you can”, meaning audience members choose how much they think the show is worth for them.

“We were really encouraged by this from last year,” Giles says. “We want to allow people who can’t afford expensive tickets to bring the whole family.”

Giles says he likes the idea of busking, where people make the choice.

“Expensive means different things for different people but we just want to get as many people along as possible.”

So bring a picnic, bring a blanket and set sail for Illyria.

Twelfth Night is on at Fairfield House from 11 January until 20 January at 6.30pm before moving to Raetihi Lodge in the Marlborough Sounds on January 24 at 6pm, Washbourn Gardens in Richmond on January 25 and 26 at 6.30pm and finally Riverside Community in Lower Moutere on January 27 and 28 at 6.30pm.