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Shakespeare's Stories: Photographs of Viola

View and listen to discussion concerning this 1960 image of Malvolio taunting Viola, along with others.

Eric Porter as Malvolio and Dorothy Tutin as Viola from ‘Twelfth Night’ 1960 (Tom Holte Theatre Photographic Collection © SBT)
Eric Porter as Malvolio and Dorothy Tutin as Viola from 'Twelfth Night' 1960 (Tom Holte Theatre Photographic Collection © SBT)

For this week’s post on the ‘Shakespeare’s Stories’ exhibition, storyteller and curator Jan Blake is in the Swan Bar at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre. Underneath a canopy of origami swallows, you can see displayed a number of past production photographs of Viola from Twelfth Night, including this 1960 image of Malvolio taunting Viola, who is in disguise as a boy under the name Cesario.

Jan considers the photographs and reflects on Viola’s story: how she disguises herself as a boy to survive in the strange land of Illyria after her ship is wrecked. Jan compares Viola to another female character in the play, Olivia, and looks at how they deal with the situations that befall them.

As well as Twelfth Night in the Swan Bar, the ‘Shakespeare’s Stories’ exhibition looks at The Tempest in the Stratford Room of the Shakespeare Centre (through the Birthplace cafe on Henley Street), and The Comedy of Errors in Hall’s Croft. 

‘Shakespeare’s Stories’ is part of the RSC’s World Shakespeare Festival for London 2012.