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January 7, 2014

RST Twelfth Night with postit with corrections.inddWell close enough, but a team of Shakespeare players is searching for boy and girl twins who know a bit about acting as well as a band of wandering mistrals.

Celebrating more than half a century of entertaining theatre goers in Raphael Park, Romford Summer Theatre is launching its 51st production with Twelfth Night.

Reputed to be one of Shakespeare’s funniest plays, the call is out for actors to audition next month at Fairkytes in Billet Lane Hornchurch, on two evenings, Tuesday February 4 and Thursday February 6 at 8pm.

Director Vernon Keeble-Watson (pictured below) has a whole shopping list of characters including the twins, for the play set for seven performances in June.

He said: “Ideally we need a set of twins, but will settle for a young man and women with passing resemblance to play Sebastian and Viola.

“Also I need people who can sing and play instruments, as this is the most musical of Shakespeare’s plays.”

Setting the action in the period of Charles ll will add lustre to the production, with the turmoil of post Civil War, a plague and the Great Fire of London opening his reign.

Charles waVernon Keeble-Watson ws also a bit of lad when it came to the ladies with a number of illegitimate children from mistresses, but none from the wife, Catherine of Braganza.

In between dissolving parliament and signing treaties with the French, he appears to have lived in the fast lane in a veritable lifestyle of dreams.

Shakespeare first performed Twelfth Night in February 1602, and seeing as he died in 1616, some years before Charles ll was born, but like most of the Bard’s works, his plays travel.

Originally set in Illyria, an ancient region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea covering parts of modern Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Albania, Croatia, and Montenegro, Vernon’s setting accommodates a rich list of characters.

RST wThe storyline is Shakespeare at his best, with the Duke Orsino in love with Lady Olivia, but she meets ‘Sebastian’, and changes her mind. Unfortunately  ‘Sebastian’ is really Viola, who has been shipwrecked and is only pretending to be a boy. To make matters worse, Viola has fallen for Orsino. Meanwhile, Olivia’s uncle, Sir Toby Belch, and his friend, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, Maria the maid, Feste the jester and Fabian, a servant, plot to make a fool out of Malvolio, Olivia’s head steward, which only adds to the comic confusion. Finally, Viola’s twin brother, who really is Sebastian, arrives and Viola’s true identity is revealed  Confused, maybe but it ends well or was that another play?

Rehearsals start in April every Tuesday Wednesday and Sunday morning up to the six evening performances starting Thursday 19 to Saturday June 21 with a matinee on Sunday June 22 at 3pm, and evening performances the following Thursday June 26 to Saturday 28.

Tickets are £10 with concessions and available at the door or online on

All performances will be on the Rockery, in Raphael Park, Main Road, Romford, and subject to clement weather.

For more details see

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