Widely regarded as one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, Twelfth Night follows twins Viola and Sebastian as they are shipwrecked and separated. Presuming Sebastian to be dead, Viola disguises herself as a man named Cesario in order to enter the service of Duke Orsino, who is in love with the disinterested Olivia. Cesario is sent to deliver messages of love to Olivia, but instead of falling for Orsino’s plan, Olivia instead falls for Cesario. Whilst this hilarious farce continues, others are seeking revenge on the evil Malvolio by convincing him that he is in fact the object of Olivia’s affection.
After his Tony and Olivier award-winning stint as Rooster Byron in Jerusalem, Rylance shows his skills as he transforms into the entirely hysterical Olivia. Stephen Fry (The Likes of Us) returns to the stage after a seventeen-year hiatus, starring as the malevolent Malvolio. Twelfth Night also features Samuel Barnett (The History Boys, Desperate Romantics) as Sebastian, Johnny Flynn (Jerusalem) as Viola, Liam Brennan as Orsino, Peter Hamilton Dyer as Feste and Colin Hurley as Sir Toby Belch.
Carroll’s version of Twelfth Night comes after an acclaimed 2002 staging of the play, which he now revives with the original creative team, including design by Jenny Tiramani and music by Claire van Kampen. An all-male version that reflects how it would have been first performed, this production includes authentic costume, set, music and dance, which would have all been possible in the 1600s. Opening at the Apollo Theatre London, this rollicking version of Shakespeare’s comedy of errors promises to be a side-splitting hit.