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No April Fool: Image

New Yorker Nettie is no April Fool!




Talented actor/singer Nettie Chickering is proving she is no April Fool as Feste in this ground-breaking production of Twelfth Night. Taking her inspiration from the likes of Josephine Baker and Ella Fitzgerald, she swings and sways to some darn hot bluesy jazz notes in 60 Hour Shakespeare’s reimagining of Illyria as Upper West Side Manhattan in 1919. 

The Fool became one of the most insightful and clever characters to be found in Shakespeare’s works, seeing everything and having something to say on all of it! Here Nettie, as the fool Feste, follows in the footsteps of some famous fools from Robert Armin, in the great Bard’s day, to Mark Rylance. In our production, Feste (Nettie) is a bartender at The Ansonia, and moonlights as a jazz singer, who was a favourite of Olivia’s father and is in Orsino’s favour. 

When she’s not playing the Fool, Nettie, who trained with the Commonwealth Shakespeare’s Company Acting Apprenticeship Program, is no different. In fact she’s the real deal. Following in the footsteps of some famous Shakespearean singers, she is part of an avant-garde free jazz and poetry group Heroes Are Gang Leaders and composed and sung the jazz/blues score for a production of Romeo & Juliet. 

Corbidge said: “It’s been a riot to work with Nettie, the whole of the international cast and the UK-based 60 Hour Shakespeare team on Twelfth Night. It’s one of my favourites and though it’s been done many times before on stage, it’s been a totally new and mad experience rehearsing and performing via the Zoom Room - all in under 60 hours! Twelfth Night, like its rhyming verse, is a trap. Get out while you still can and please donate on the way out.” 

DATE AND TIME: The production will be performed live online at 7.30pm BST on Sunday, 2nd May, 2021. To book online follow the link below. This is production is free, but donations are requested in aid of the Fiorentini Foundation. 

Please note parental guidance is recommended. The running time is approximately: 

Booking Link:

Event Page: 


Producer: Charlotte Cline 

Email: Telephone: 07845 314808 

Additional Information and Supporting Quotes: 

60 Hour Artistic Director Gavin Leigh commented: “Nettie and the rest of the cast are our secret weapon. Twelfth Night can make you laugh and cry. This cast, Charlotte, Michael, and Sophia, our Movement Director, have brought everything to this production. No one needs that like the children we are supporting through the Fiorentini Foundation.” 

Anna Fiorentini, founder of the Fiorentini Performing Arts School and Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be chosen as the charity supported by 60 Hour Shakespeare, a company that is incredibly creative, inspiring and dedicated. Like most arts organisations, we have been very badly affected by the pandemic, but we believe passionately in the transformative effects of the performing arts in young people and are therefore determined to build ourselves up again. Our beneficiaries need us more than ever to develop their confidence, self-esteem and life chances and therefore we cannot thank everybody involved with this event enough and of course everybody who donates and supports our cause.” 

Producer Charlotte Cline: “We are really excited to bring Twelfth Night to the Zoom Theatre. Our production design utilises the black and white filter, costumes and jazz to create a unique and cinematic effect fitting of the era. It’s a huge pleasure to expand our team to include RSC’s Michael Corbidge as our Voice and Text Director as he elevates our work to an even greater level.” 


After a sudden end to the passage from Italy to America, Viola fears her brother, Sebastian, has drowned and begins a new life under the disguise of Cesario, singing for the Upper West Side’s notorious and lovelorn Don Orsino. From her apartments in the Ansonia Hotel, southern belle, Olivia rails against his love suits in the company of Malvolia, the concierge, and Maria, her maid. Cesario is asked for a favour that will lead Viola to a bar full of strife and Feste, the bartender, moonlighting as a jazz singer, with prohibition and fate about to change everything. 

Past Reviews: 

Hamlet – ‘I saw a piece of theatrical bravura on Monday – a wonderful production of Hamlet, rehearsed and put together over just one weekend. The strong sense of movement created a special dynamic – you felt that almost anything could happen.’ (Susan Creed, Henley Standard) 

Richard II – ‘What a great job you did to get such wonderful work out of such a range of actors. It was so fresh and vital, and great to hear the whole play.’ (Ali de Souza, Associate Head of Acting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) 

About 60 Hour Shakespeare: 

60 Hour Shakespeare’s mild inspiration is the rehearsal time available to actors in Shakespeare’s time. Acting companies might have had only one rehearsal before a performance and performed as many as 40 productions a year. Our company performs with professional and amateur actors from around the world, who are cast from open auditions, to raise money for charity. Previous productions include Richard II (2020), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2020), Hamlet (2019), and Much Ado About Nothing in (2018), which raised over £4000 for Acting 4 Others, No5 Young People, Macmillan Cancer Research, and British Heart Foundation respectively. 

About the Fiorentini Foundation:

The Fiorentini Foundation is the charitable arm of the Anna Fiorentini Theatre & Film School. The charity was founded in 2011 with the sole intention of enabling less fortunate children to access the world of the performing arts. The Foundation works extensively with underprivileged children and those with long term health issues. Its mission is to break down the barrier of privilege and bring the arts to anyone with a creative flair regardless of background, race, creed or colour. The Foundation believes in the power of change and that encouraging less fortunate children to take an interest in a seemingly inaccessible pursuit can help them develop important life skills. 

No April Fool: Our History
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