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A Tourist's Guide to Illyria

by Jack Stanley

Illyria Welcomes You

First of all, congratulations on choosing Illyria as your holiday destination! You couldn't have picked a more varied, culturally fascinating and all-round eclectic island to visit. In the course of this guide, I'll be including some of the people and places you'll be encountering on your travels, and giving you a better idea of a location that was first introduced to audiences in William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night (you might've heard of it).

A selection of locals that you’re sure to encounter on your travels in Illyria.

Lords, Ladies and Local Boozers

Once you've arrived in Illyria (presumably by shipwreck), you'll probably be somewhere along the scenic Illyrian coastline.

Be sure to say hi to Sebastian and Antonio who were in a similar boating accident recently. They are full of good recommendations for where to visit in Illyria. The Elephant Pub in the South Suburbs is one such place, with Antonio having gone down in many guide books (and a certain playtext) as stating this place is 'best to lodge'. Expect a warm welcome, good beer and the occasional scuffle down in the bar between local ruffians.

Newcomer to the island Sebastian, undoubtedly sharing his words of wisdom on one of the many idyllic Illyrian beaches.

Courts, Countesses and Copious Cross-Dressing

The next stop on your visit has to be the no. 1 tourist hotspot in Illyria, Duke Orsino's Palace. His crumbling home has seen better days but unfortunately it's unlikely you'll see this firsthand as the palace grounds are off-limits to common folk. Your best bet for securing entrance is to pose as a manservant named Cesario, and work for the Duke.

Although labours as a servant to an aristocrat might not be everyone's idea of a fun holiday, the opportunity to be mixed up in an inevitable comic plot involving mistaken identity and cross-dressing surely is. The famed 'Illyrian Lady' Olivia is also said to frequent here so be on the look out for one of her appearances but be careful - she has a tendency to inexplicably fall for Orsino's manservants. If this should happen, be sure to have a twin readily available who she can marry instead.

Duke Orsino, seemingly unaware of the dire architectural state of his palace.

Drunks, Dungeons and Dodgy Fashion

The third and final place on your Illyrian itinerary should be the home of Sir Toby Belch. Another well-known aristocratic name who unfortunately has built up a name in recent years for excessive drinking and debauchery, he can often be found trashing his otherwise lovely home with his partner-in-crime Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Known locally as the 'Lords of Misrule', their drunken revels are a spectacle in themselves but once the sight of precious family heirlooms being smashed to bits has worn thin, do be sure to head down to his dungeon to visit Malvolio, the shamed former steward of Olivia.

He can frequently be found in the dankest and darkest part of the house, where he will inevitably be weeping and wailing for the Illyrian Lady. If you ever wondered who started the recent and slightly worrying Illyrian fashion craze for 'yellow socks cross-gartered', it was this man. Do pick up your own pair from Illyrian Duty Free before you leave (along with a selection of Toby's Traditional 'Cakes and Ale') but just be prepared to be thought a fool as soon as you return to the mainland.

Malvolio, prior to his recent public shaming and imprisonment in a local dungeon, being watched by some of his more mischievous fellow residents.

Love, Laughter and Leaving Illyria

With your visits to the top tourists spots in Illyria complete, so is your holiday. By now you should hopefully have found another ship to take you off the island but if not, then you can always marry into local nobility as many ainlanders have done in the past.

I hope this overview of the island has given you a taste of what Illyria has to offer. Feel free to take this advice on board or do what you will and simply explore the island at your own leisure (sorry, couldn't resist that last one...).

Alternatively, if you're unable to visit Illyria at present, then see the hilarious comedy of deception and disguise that brings this wonderful island to life.

More local life captured on camera and now to be seen on stage in ETT’s brand new production of Twelfth Night.

ETT's critically acclaimed Twelfth Night runs at Richmond Theatre from Tue 18 - Sat 22 Nov

Next week, we set foot on Prospero's Island, an intriguing new holiday hotspot close to the Italian coast where with the appropriate sorcery skills, spirits can be summoned to do your bidding, as opposed to the usual hotel hospitality staff. Not to be missed.