Filter Theatre offer an iconoclastic, 'rock'n'roll theatre' approach to Twelfth Night

Co-artistic director and founder Ferdy Roberts discusses the company's 'crazy' Shakespeare adap

Filter Theatre offer an iconoclastic, 'rock'n'roll theatre' approach to Twelfth Night

Photo: Robert Day

Although Filter Theatre's version of Shakespeare's satirical romance has been touring since 2006, its genesis was modest. 'Originally we were commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company to give a response to Twelfth Night,' explains Ferdy Roberts, co-artistic director and founder. 'We initially put it together in a week – this allowed us to throw it up in the air and make some brave, even crazy decisions. We cut it, edited it, messed it up and it keeps developing and moving on.'

Filter's attitude towards Shakespeare is to approach the script with their usual process as if they were devising. Having musicians in the room throughout lends Filter a particular energy, and has led to their shows being described as 'rock'n'roll theatre.'

For Roberts, this helped Filter 'get to the heart of the themes' of the play. 'We had the chance to be anarchic and deconstruct it,' he continues, pointing out that the original productions would have played to a more dynamic audience – social life would be conducted during the performance – than today’s relatively polite spectators. With live music on stage, and an iconoclastic approach to the Bard, Filter clearly fit in with the Citizens' enthusiasm for updating the classics.

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 28 Jan–Sat 1 Feb.

Twelfth Night

  • Written by: William Shakespeare

Radical reinterpretation of Shakespeare's classic comedy.


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