Gregory Doran directs a new production of Twelfth Night, Shakespeare’s poignant comedy of mistaken identity, unrequited love and revengeful pranks.
Olivia is washed up on the shores of Illyria after a shipwreck, believing her brother Sebastian to be dead. She disguises herself as a boy and gets a job in the service of the Duke, Orsino, who is desperately in love with the haughty Viola. Employed as love-note envoy by Orsino, the disguised Olivia catches the eye of Viola, who falls in love with the smooth-faced boy. Into this complicated situation wanders Sebastian, also washed up in Illyria and looking a lot like Olivia…
Meanwhile Orsino’s pompous servant Malvolio is given a taste of his own medicine by a trio of dastardly schemers.
The cast of Twelfth Night stars Richard Wilson, making his Royal Shakespeare Company debut as Malvolio. Wilson is best known for his long-running role as the grumpy Victor Meldrew in TV’s One Foot In The Grave. However he is an accomplished stage actor and director who has previously appeared in the West End in Whipping It Up and What The Butler Saw.
Twelfth Night also stars James Fleet, seen most recently in The Observer at the National Theatre and well known for his many screen roles including Hugo in The Vicar Of Dibley and Tom in Four Weddings And A Funeral.
RSC regulars Nancy Carroll, Alexandra Gilbreath and Jo-Stone Fewings play Viola, Olivia and Orsino respectively.
For more about Twelfth Night at the Duke of York’s theatre, read the First Night Feature.