Los Angeles’ favorite clown troupe Four Clowns, teams up with the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles for an all-new holiday take on one of the Bard’s “Twelfth Night or What You Will” with “Welcome to Illyria! or An Exceedingly Silly Retelling of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.”
This is not the first time Four Clowns has worked with Shakespeare’s text. In 2015, Four Clowns took on Hamlet to receive rave reviews. In 2011 the company produced an award-winning version of Romeo & Juliet, and in 2014 they teamed up with California State University Long Beach to present a version of Ubu Roi called Ubu The Sh*t, a French play based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
In the realm of firsts, however, Four Clowns has been expanding its ensemble of extremely talented actors over the past two years and this will be the first time several of the company’s new members will be featured.
This cast of nine will be working with long-time company member and director Joe DeSoto and the new Artistic Director of Four Clowns. DeSoto has worked with clown troupes all over the U.S. including the final tour of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
“I’ve wanted to do this show for 6 years,” says DeSoto. “Twelfth Night has always been my favorite Shakespearean comedy. Unfortunately, I didn’t know as many talented physical comedians back then as I do now. ‘Welcome to Illyria!’ is light-hearted, fun, outrageous, engaging, exciting… As simple as it may sound, I really just want our audiences to have a blast and to leave the theatre feeling energized. And maybe also a tad exhausted (from laughing).”
This is Shakespeare as you’ve never seen before. It’s a classic love story! Girl meets boy. Boy disguises girl as boy. Boy meets man. Man loves woman. But woman loves boy. And boy loves man. And, well… it’ll all make sense in the show. Set during the holidays, this highly physical production slips and slides through the pages of Shakespeare, as the clowns hash out the meaning of “If music be the food of love, play on.
“Welcome to Illyria!” will run for twelve performances only, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays from November 30 – December 16, 2018, Friday, Saturday & Sunday have an 8:00 pm show as well as a Sunday 2:00 pm show.
There will be one 15 minute intermission. The show is 1 hour and 45 minutes and is rated PG-13.