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4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 3 April 2014
And the too soon departed Roger Lloyd-Pack.

Thank God and the Globe that someone had the foresight to film this performance. This is sheer, blissful, give-yourself-over-to-it fun. The laughs started with the opening scene, and the first scream laughs started with Mark Rylance' first footfall on the stage, if you could call it that. He certainly looked like he had on skates under that beautiful dress.

I had the great good fortune to see this leaning on the front of the stage at the new Globe in London, then eight months later from a seat on the stage in New York. I was able to secure the entire second row of the center orchestra and filled it with friends. One of the greatest joys of my life, at least thus far, was being able to look past the footlights and see the faces of my closest friends, second row center, convulsed with laughter. Three of the men kept handkerchiefs in hand, wiping away tears of laughter.

I have seen hundreds of productions of Shakespeare's plays. I can confidently state I will never see a better production. Rylance is never less than perfection, Fry's Malvolio's preening courtship of Rylance' Olivia, spurred by Chahidi's Maria was supremely funny, but I don't think you could expect less from that trio.

Unfortunately, Roger Lloyd-Pack was too ill to make the trip to New York, but thank goodness, his performance as Sir Andrew Aguecheek is preserved here during the London run.

Well, here's that word that any of us hate to use when reviewing any Shakespeare performance, this play is ridiculously accessible. Anybody, from scholars to music hall holdouts, will enjoy this play. It is impossible not to.

I've just ordered seven more dvd's of this. The fifteen I've already ordered are scattered to friends as mementos of one of the best nights of theater I've ever enjoyed, or to people who were never able to get to NY to see it.

Buy this, and settle in for an evening of delight, knowing you're seeing performers at the pinnacle of their powers.
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on 6 July 2013
I've seen this production twice, now: once live on stage, and once at my local cinema. Now I'm waiting for the DVD so I can see it again. It's that good.

This is an all-male production, which harks back to the original Tudor theatre; which goes some way to explain why Shakespeare was so fond of cross-dressing as a plot device - a boy disguised as a girl, disguised as a boy. It also heightens the comedy; both Mark Rylance (Olivia) and Paul Chahidi (Maria) would make wonderful Pantomime Dames if they so chose.

The big name in this production is Stephen Fry as Malvolio. He is, by turns, side-splittingly funny and heart-rendingly vulnerable. There's a touch of Lord Melchett in his performance, but this works splendidly. Fry is a much better actor than many people (including himself?) give him credit for.

The twins are convincingly interchangeable (not least due to the preposterous wigs they each sport); and though it seemed to me that Viola took a couple of scenes to get into his stride, he was great thereafter. Mark Rylance plays Olivia as a semi-hysterical spinster unable to contain her lust for the handsome young "Cesario." When Sebastian (who Olivia thinks is "Cesario") responds positively to her advances, Rylance's reaction is a hoot.

The comedy double-act of Toby Belch (Colin Hurley) and Andrew Aguecheek (Roger Lloyd "Trigger" Pack) is wonderful. The duel between Aguecheek and Viola/Cesario is hilarious; but for pure comedy it is topped by the Box Tree scene, where Belch, Aguecheek and Fabian eavesdrop on Malvolio as he struggles with the planted letter. I have never known this scene to be done better, or to have got more laughs.

All in all, this production treats Twelfth Night as the comedy it is - but not JUST as a comedy. It is no accident that the most serious character in the play is Feste, the Clown (Peter Hamilton Dyer). He seems to drift though the play with an air of cynical aloofness, his songs hinting that this comedy has a darker side.

I cannot praise this production enough.
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Fantastically funny, sharp, brilliant all male performance of Twelfth Night filmed at the Globe Theatre, London, during June 2012. A star studded cast with a mass of acting experience and each one giving a lesson in how to own the stage. They act, they dance and sing while a small orchestra entertain throughout playing only traditional instruments. Musical credits go to Claire Van Kampen; wife of Mark Rylance. This is a real troupe and they bring the play to life. Performed on a small stage, surrounded by a live audience and with the bare minimum of props they are mesmerizing and I had no problem melting into the drama and laughing along with this amazing Shakespearean comedy.

Mark Rylance and Liam Brennan are listed as 'primary contributors' but watch out for magical performances from the late Roger Lloyd-Pack (Trigger from 'Only Fools and Horses) as the hapless Anthony Aguecheek and Stephen Fry as an eye catching Malvolio complete with bright yellow stockings!. I'd also have to give praise to Peter Hamilton Dyer who made an amazing 'Fool'.

Full cast listing;
Samuel Barnett, Liam Brennan, Paul Chahidi, John Paul Connolly, Ian Drysdale, Johnny Flynn, Stephen Fry, James Garnon, Peter Hamilton Dyer, Colin Hurley, Roger Lloyd Pack, Mark Rylance, Jethro Skinner and Ben Thompson.

Director: Tim Carroll

The DVD has a running time of approx. 164 minutes.
Subtitles: EN/DE
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on 23 January 2015
I was lucky enough to see this production on Broadway. It was so good, I saw it twice. The second time, I took my teenage son. During the intermission I told him. "You may see more productions of Twelfth Night in your lifetime, and I hope you do, but you will NEVER see a production better than this one." It was the most wonderful theatre imaginable. In my opinion, perfect in every way. Down to a man, the acting was sublime. (No women here! My favorite performance? Samuel Barnett.) The best ensemble I've ever seen in anything. Totally enthralling and hilarious. Gorgeous costumes. My son, who is usually bored to death and confused by Shakespeare, hung on every word, as did the entire audience. I am so happy they have preserved this on a DVD. I intend to play it at least once a year until I die!
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VINE VOICEon 30 July 2013
When I saw Twelfth Night at the Globe in 2002 I thought it was one of the best things I had ever seen on a stage.
When I saw it again in 2012 it was still one of the best things I had ever seen on a stage. I even took many "Shakespeare's not for me" types along with me who agreed. So I'm very pleased it is now on record via this film.

Rylance (as in most things he does) is quite simply incredible, the attention to detail, the timing...
Fry is good and competent, most of the cast are too. Special mention to Paul Chahidi as Maria (very funny) and to Colin Hurley as Sir Toby (very nasty in the right places) and Peter Hamilton-Dyer as Feste - I cannot imagine this play being done better.
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on 1 December 2014
I saw this on the TV and thought it was one if the best and funniest Shakespearian plays I had seen for a long time. This would be a very good DVD to show in schools to children who are just learning about Shakespeare as it really was very entertaining and very easy to follow. A bit of a masterpiece.
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on 21 November 2013
I saw Twelfth Night here in NYC. This is one of the greatest productions of a Shakespeare play that I have ever seen. Seeing and hearing a great production "live" cannot be reproduced in a film. However, the film is a wonderful record of this very special production. The acting, set design, direction, and music are superb and the film does give so much, if not all, of a sense of being there. Not everyone will be able to see Twelfth Night in New York. I am so glad that those who love the theater will have a chance to see the film of Twelfth Night. The dvd is region free and will play on any American player.
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on 26 August 2013
I'm not very scholarly, I know very little about Shakespeare , but watching this I laughed a lot, I understood the story and the jokes. The acting is superbe. I've never heard of Mark Rylance but having seen him in this I now wants to see everything he is in. I am totally in love with him. He was so funny and great. All the actors are great and I totally believed in the characters. I was worried that I would get confused by a a man playing a woman playing a man, but the acting was so good that it all felt very clear and I totally bought into it. I highly recommend this to any one familiar with Shakespeare as well as to anyone who has never seen Shakespeare and maybe feels intimidated by it, you won't be intimidated by this.
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on 30 March 2014
The very good reviews of the New York run were merited, and it's even better being at the Globe. It really is NTSC and worked perfectly on my USA DVD player and TV (via HDMI). From the internet, NTSC will also play on the UK-Europe PAL equipment, but not vice versa. It seems like a very good idea to do it that way especially for stage plays, ballets, etc, which will have comparatively low total sales worldwide so the last thing needed is more overhead in putting it out in two formats. I wish more of them were released that way on DVD.
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on 15 November 2015
Anyone who thinks Shakespeare comedies are not really funny needs to see this; it's an absolute delight from beginning to end and I defy anyone to watch it without howling with laughter. What a master stroke to cast it, as it would have been in Shakespeare's day, with an all male cast. Mark Rylance gives a wonderful performance as the Lady Olivia. Through clever phrasing and intonation and some wonderful business with his dress, giving the impression that he is hovering around the stage, he gets laughs for a character that is not usually thought of as a comic creation. There is some marvellous ensemble work here, but I must single out national treasure Stephen Fry, who is suitably pompous as Malvolio, and the wonderful Roger Lloyd Pack, sadly no longer with us, as Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I shall watch this again and again.
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