Following the adage ‘the show must go on’ English Repertory Theatre swung into action before their evening performance at Oxford Castle when their Sir Toby Belch (Jack Taylor) had to be rushed to A&E — but all’s well that ends well, as veteran Shakespearean actor John Canmore was available to fill the to the breach.

There was an announcement that because of the very short notice he would perform script in hand but that didn’t bother the audience a jot as he is marvellous as the high-spirited and cunning Sir Toby.

As the show’s musical introduction is the theme tune from Captain Pugwash, you know from the start that you are in for a cheeky modern production of this classic twinly-mistaken identity, cross-dressing romance, focussing on fun and eschewing any textual dark under-tones. One of their boldest decisions is using contemporary songs instead of the originals penned by Shakes-peare — but it actually works well.

Alexander Jones as Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Daniel Jennings’ Feste the jester were funny, with Steven Blacker’s Malvolio well-rounded. Rachael Waring is a super Viola — full of poetry and fun. My favourite scene is the hilarious duel between her and Aguecheek where she really captures the dilemmas of her boy/girl pretence.

Twelfth Night
Oxford Castle
Until Sep 5
Box office: 01865 260666