top of page
Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Twitter Basic Black
  • Facebook Basic Black
  • Google+ Basic Black

Review – The Venetian Twins: a thoroughly enjoyable piece of theatre

By Lilian Harrington

The Venetian Twins

Book and lyrics by Nick Enright

Music by Terence Clarke

Directed by Leo Bradley

Villanova Players

Ron Hurley Theatre

28 Tallowwood St.

Seven Hills

Season: November 26- 11 December. (performances at 7:30pm and 2 pm matinees)

Bookings : Ph: 0423920832 or Trybooking

VP or Villanova Players have produced some memorable works in the 75 years they have been in operation and this production of The Venetian Twins is no exception! It captures the Italian style and is fast paced, has some great voices, witty dialogue, funny movement and antics that leave everyone laughing. The production is simply staged with a live orchestra and movable flats with a great cast, under the direction of Leo Bradley.

The Venetian Twins is an Australian two- act musical comedy adapted from a commedia dell’ arte play I due gemelli veneziani by Carlo Goldoni. The lyrics have been written by Australian playwright, Nick Enright and the music was composed and arranged by Terence Clarke. Leo has been keen to direct this musical for a while, because he saw the relevance and influence this style of comedy has had on theatre, from Shakespeare through to modern day puppet programs, such as The Muppets. The program has some very witty songs and dialogue, and displays a variety of dance styles, along with interactive play with the audience at times.

Leo has been supported by experienced Brisbane based Musical Director, Ben Richards, and his onstage orchestra, and choreographer, Helen Ekundayo, who have worked successfully with his fantastic cast, led by Nikolai Stewart who plays both the twins Toninoz and Zanetto, and superb vocalist -actress, Amelia Burton, (Beatrice) and Lillian Dowdell, (Rosina). The leads really set the scene and the ensemble compliments their efforts. Not to be overlooked are: Andrew Ally (Pancrazio), a gifted actor with good vocal skills and a talent for character work, and Barry Haworth (the judge), along with Caelen Culpepper (Lelio), and Michaela Gallagher the understudy for Colombina.

The story begins with The Judge, who is short of money, and has signed a contract to have his daughter married off to a Venetian, Zanetto, who she hasn’t met and who she isn’t enamoured with when he arrives in Verona. She refuses to give him her hand in marriage. Zanetto’s twin brother Tonino arrives looking for his love Beatrice and so further confusion breaks out when Zanetto’s luggage, money and jewels, don’t arrive with his servant, Arlecchino (Peter Cattach). Arlecchino has confused Zanetto, with Tonino, who he hasn’t met, and given the box and money to him in the street. Beatrice is looking for Tonino too, but she keeps finding Zanetto, who doesn’t know her.

Confusion reigns in true commedia de l ‘arte style! Beatrice, is accompanied by the love sick Florinda (Daniel Buckley), whose behaviour and stylised movement are very comical. He tries everything not to allow her to marry Tonino. In contrast, old Pancrazio (Andrew Alley), tries every devious and dark means to get money and jewels to marry the judge’s daughter, young Rosina, by nightfall. When all seems lost Pancrazio gets his hands on some poison from a pedlar and he gives Zanetto a taste in a drink and Zanetto dies. Eventually, Tonino finds out that the twins were separated at birth, along with their sister Rosina, who was bought and brought up by the judge. Beatrice and Tonino find true love and Rosina finds Lelio, so in an Australian “comedic style” all complications are resolved through song and dance and a lot of witty dialogue which makes this production a thoroughly enjoyable piece of theatre and a well-timed program for this part of the year!


bottom of page