Counting down the days to Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night at the Italian Garden

Twelfth Night at the Italian Garden

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How many places do you find a caretaker, a bingo hall manager, a butcher, a speech therapist, a smattering of retirees and a clutch of students all happily rubbing along together?

With the cast of EODS Productions’ Twelfth Night, award-winning director Sandra Tomlinson has gathered together a talented band of diverse individuals whose sole purpose at present is to bring this popular and delightful romantic comedy to life.

With rehearsals now in their last stages, the cast and crew of Eastbourne Operatic and Dramatic Society are polishing the work that they have been preparing for months.

Their performances will be in the splendid open air setting of the Italian Gardens at Holywell.

Creative Rhian Holyoake is adding the finishing touches to the numerous props required for this elaborate production, whilst EODS stalwarts Mick Root and Bob Lester have been thankful for the recent good weather conditions that have allowed them to paint the charming scenery outdoors.

Not to be outdone, wardrobe regular Val Dormady is making final adjustments to the period costumes.

With little being as it seems in Twelfth Night, the talented EODS cast will tell the complex story of love, loss and mistaken identity, with a captivating love triangle played out alongside confusion and trickery.

The cast includes Eastbourne College student Bertie Beeching who portrays Antonio who saves Viola’s twin Sebastian from the shipwreck off Illyria, and swears to protect him during their sojourn on the island.

Sebastian is played by fellow Eastbourne College student James Tomlinson.

James has also undertaken the musical arrangement and direction for this production of Twelfth Night.

Much confusion ensues when Sebastian is mistaken for Viola and vice versa, with an unexpected sword fight, marriage between strangers, and the apparent betrayal of a friend.

All this unfolds against the background of romance which is at the heart of Twelfth Night, and intertwined by the mischievous activities of Maria and Sir Toby Belch.

First performed in 1602, this intiguing and much loved play, which is set on the romantic Adriatic Coast, will bring romance and comedy to the wooded amphitheatre for an unmissable midsummer experience at Eastbourne’s more untouched end of the seafront.

Twelfth Night runs from July 29 to August 8, nightly at 7.30pm. (No performance Sunday August 2). All seating is covered.

Arrive early and bring a picnic or choose from the wide variety of tea, coffee, and cakes on offer in the refreshment marquee. Tickets from the Congress Theatre box office 01323 412000. £18, 15 and concessions £13 Or www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk

Hidden away below Helen Gardens at Holywell, the Italian Gardens are surrounded by beautiful trees which provide shade on a hot day and create the ambiance of a secret garden. With luscious lawns to sit on, theatre goers can relax and enjoy their surroundings as they wait for the drama to unfold.

Pathways down to the Italian Gardens are quite steep although there is also access up from the promenade which is less so. For more information go to www.visiteastbourne.com.