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What You Will (2012)

 -  Drama  -  14 September 2012 (UK)
4.4
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What You Will is a tragi-comedy drama shot as if it is a fly-on-the-wall documentary. Co-produced with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Filter Theatre's extraordinary production of ... See full summary »

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Storyline

What You Will is a tragi-comedy drama shot as if it is a fly-on-the-wall documentary. Co-produced with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Filter Theatre's extraordinary production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is featured live in this backstage road movie. Interviews with Romola Garai and Dominic West are deviously mixed with behind-the-scenes filming, where the actors' off-stage shenanigans reflect their onstage characters and the real and unreal meld into inglorious technicolor. Written by Anonymous

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A journey into theatre

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Drama

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User Reviews

 
Very enjoyable - deserves to be better known
28 November 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This (sadly little-known) drama-comedy mockumentary follows the fortunes of a travelling theatre company, who are performing a modern and subversive adaptation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. It's a behind-the-scenes look at the main players, including the egotistical and rather unpleasant Greg (Ferdy Roberts), and the heavy drinking and irresponsible, but ultimately likable 'Oz' Oscar (Oliver Dimsdale), who started the company. The characters are all too believable, with the sometimes tense and claustrophobic atmosphere that one can feel when cooped up with the same people day in, day out, clearly shown. I liked Suzie (Sandy Foster), the understudy, who despite being the only person who had to audition to join the company, is never given her chance to shine (with Greg giving his own non-actor wife a part in the play rather than offer it to Suzie), and the other understudy Tony (Alex Avery), who is given a chance to shine, despite not being up to the part.

With actors Dominic West and Romola Garai playing themselves, giving their opinion on the company and the play, the realism is heightened. There are moments of comedy and some moments of pathos, mainly courtesy of Oscar, and it ends on a somewhat downbeat note, although that does not detract from the general enjoyment of the film.

I would say that a basic knowledge of the play Twelfth Night would help when watching this, although it is probably not a necessity. However, do not watch it expecting to learn what Twelfth Night is about, because it probably won't help!

This is definitely a film for fans of Shakespeare, and even more so for fans of theatre in general, and how things operate after the curtain comes down. I really enjoyed it, and will certainly be watching it again in the future.


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