To pump myself up for Mardi Gras, my friend and I decided to see this adaptation of a Shakespeare comedy, playfully titled 12 Inch Night at 107 Projects in Redfern. A modern take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, it’s set in present day Sydney, although in a porn studio…and almost everyone’s gay.
It shouldn’t have been difficult for me to recognise which classic character everyone was, seeing that it was my second time seeing a Twelfth Night adaptation. I quickly got onto the same page. I immediately took sudden interest when the twins were established. (Honestly, most of them were cute, while some became favourites of mine.)
The overt references about pornography and sex blatantly highlight this ‘loosely’ adapted play. This version of Malcolm (played by Barry Backhouse) was a character whose humor I relished. Viola (played by Claire Appleby) was your typical awkward curious twenty-something, and her twin Seb (played by Alex Radovan) your typical horny one.
The ensemble cast consisted of the well-rounded passionate type of actors who enthused us all from the beginning.
The puns just kept on coming and the theatrical references were obvious. It’s as if they took the story and dressed it up fabulously for a 21st century gay world. The colloquial references were also noticeable: Cha Time, Stonewall, and The Shift — all staples of Sydney life.
The script was enjoyable and playful for the audience, while still a being really well thought-out homage to Shakespeare’s work. The underlying themes are what got me liking this play. The explicitness was there, but the propaganda was subtle.
If you like nudity, dildos, and are not afraid to have an open mind, then 12 Inch Night is perfect for you. It does not ostracise and will leave you taken aback and wanting more.
Happy Mardi Gras!
Kevin Rodrigueza is a 21-year-old theatre enthusiast and lover of burgers and beer. Follow his adventures at @kevinr___.