WHAT do you get when you mix Shakespeare with high-wire circus skills?

Well, you're about to find out.

A brand new aerial theatre exploration by Scottish director Charlotte McKechnie is about to fly round the country.

And take off for the dark re-imagining of Twelfth Night, using aerial and acrobatic movement and live improvised music, happens in Galashiels.

Viola investigates the psychological journey through gender identity, anxiety and isolation.

After a sell-out premiere at the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival, McKechnie now brings the production to audiences in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and the MacArts.

Charlotte told us: "Twelfth Night is a Shakespearean comedy about changing identities and turning conventions on their head.

"Viola reimagines the play purely through her point of view, blending contemporary circus, dance and theatre with music and engaging multimedia to draw parallels between psychological phenomena and

creative expression.

"When studying the play learn the role of Viola and her central monologue - in which she discusses impersonating the male courtier Cesario in a foreign court and how difficult that is - I was struck by the

very genuine crisis of identity and expectation that Viola/Cesario expresses."

Joining with Scottish aerialist and National Centre for Circus Arts graduate Adam Wright as performer and choreographer, McKechnie developed a new script from the Bard's text and developed the show whilst in residence at the Aerial Edge studio.

Charlotte added: "In the context of the wider play with its interweaving storylines and multiple characters, Viola/Cesario's struggle is slightly glossed over, eventually used as a means to a happy ending with her marriage to Orsino.

"I wanted to explore the evolution of her psyche in more detail and a solo show was the perfect way to do that - our audience sees everything from Viola/Cesario's perspective.

"It's very raw, and - especially then expressing that inner turmoil purely through movement - it's very powerful.

"Using the central monologue as a starting point, I went back through the play and looked at all the scenes particularly pertaining to Viola/Cesario and then created a new storyline."

Viola is performed at the MacArts on Wedbnesday, October 9 from 7.30pm.

Tickets, priced at £12 and £8, are available from newvoicestheatre.org/viola