Burly Bob is Blessed to be filling Sir Toby’s big shoes in Stevenage tonight

Bob Sage, Thomas Bright, Corrina Winnett appear in the Lytton Players production of Twelfth Night

Bob Sage, Thomas Bright, Corrina Winnett appear in the Lytton Players production of Twelfth Night - Credit: Archant

Burly Bob Sage is no stranger to the role of Sir Toby Belch, the bumptious boozehound who is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comic characters.

Veteran member Bob played the part when Stevenage’s Lytton Players staged the Bard’s famous romantic comedy Twelfth Night back in 1993, and he’s pulling on Sir Toby’s doublet and hose again this week.

For that production more than 20 years ago, costumes were rented from the wardrobe department of the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company.

The outfit Bob ended up wearing – which had actually been made for another comic favourite, Falstaff – came complete with the nametag Brian Blessed, as an indication of the sort of personality you need to pull off the part.

Personality plays a part, but in 1993 Bob needed the benefit of a padded undersuit to fill out the clothes – and ruefully admits that he won’t need that help this time around. The curtain goes up at the company’s Vardon Road base tonight, Wednesday, and there are performances each evening until Saturday, starting at 7.45pm.

You can watch interviews with cast members and rehearsal footage and hear some of the music which will feature in the show by following the links on the group’s www.lyttonplayers.co.uk, where you can also book tickets.


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You can also call the box office on 01438 357407.

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