Video: Dish of festive merriment

A magical mix of mirth and melancholy in a production of Shakespeare’s festive comedy, ‘Twelfth night’ has been wowing audiences at Wisbech Grammar School.

The play, which is believed to have been written as an entertainment for the twelfth night of Christmas, revolves around mistaken identities and unrequited love and features the celebrated comic scene of the puritanical killjoy, Malvolio, disporting himself in bright yellow stockings.

A cast of 30 students aged from 18 to 11 has been rehearsing after school every day and on Sundays for the show and director Miss Alison Clayton, who is taking charge of her 12th production in a row at the school said she chose the play because she had the perfect person to act the fool, Feste.

Upper sixth form student David MacLachlan, who is stepping into the fool’s shoes, needs to be able to act, sing and play a musical instrument and he will be performing period music on the mandolin, providing a touch of sadness in the midst of the high jinks and merriment.

Aficianados of the play should expect to be temporarily wrong-footed by the opening of the production, but the overall direction is closely in line with a traditional reading of the text.

Miss Clayton said: “In many ways ‘Twelfth night’ is my favourite of the comedies. As always it is a question of being able to fit the cast to your imagination and this year I was lucky enough to be able to do this one, thanks to the talent and imagination of the Wisbech Grammar School pupils.”

Head of food and nutrition Mrs Alison Sloan and her talented team are cooking up a range of seventeenth century delicacies which will be served up during the interval.

Tickets priced at £4 are on sale at the door for tonight (Friday) which is the last of a three-night run of performances at 7.30pm in the Russell hall.