Tamsin Greig will be turning her talents in Shakespearean direction in Twelth Night at the Olivier Theatre in 2017, a new production that switches dates and gender to give a refreshed take on the classic. Greig may well be known for her oddball comedy efforts in Black Books, Green Wing and Episodes, but she’s also put in a fair few stints on the stage, including Much Ado About Nothing and King John, so a transformed Malvolia should be a doddle.
Dates, show times and tickets
Opening for previews on Wednesday the 15th February 2017, the play is scheduled to start its full run from the 23rd Feb. It’ll have a two-month production that will see it close on Monday the 17th April 2017. Evening performances are at 7:30pm Monday to Friday and there are Saturday matinees at 2pm following the end of the preview performances. Tickets will cost between £29 and £65 and the opening two preview nights have already sold out, along with a number of performances marked as limited availability, so you might need to get a move on if you want to catch the popular production.
The plot is pretty much the same as it ever was with a disaster at sea starting it all off, washing Viola up on the shore, while her twin brother Sebastian is missing and presumed dead. Dressed as a guy, there’s inevitably a certain amount of mistaken identity when she meets the nearby households of Olivia and Orsino, but as a love triangle starts to take shape things descend into disorder.
Passions run deep and even Olivia’s puritanical steward, Malvolia (Greig), gets in on the action, thinking a love letter to be real and going against a stoic nature that defines the housekeeper’s funless outlook on life.
In addition to Tamsin Greig, the cast also includes Oliver Chris (Nathan Barley, Green Wing, The Office, The IT Crowd), Daniel Ezra (The Missing), Phoebe Fox (The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death), Tamara Lawrance (Undercover), the brilliant Doon Mackinan (Brass Eye, Knowing Me, Knowing You) and Daniel Rigby (Black Mirror: Series 2).
Twelfth Night is directed by Simon Godwin with design by Soutra Gilmour and lighting design by James Farncombe. Shelley Maxwell is the movement director, Michael Bruce is in charge of music, Christopher Shutt is the sound director and Kev McCurdy is the flight director.
With a strong cast, a tweaked interpretation and what’s looking like a very stylish delivery, Twelfth Night at the Olivia Theatre is looking like one of 2017’s big Shakespearean productions. Greig has had a bit of experience playing the butt of jokes in Episodes, so she should be well suited to the role of Malvonia and with Dion Mackinan and Oliver Chris in the cast there’s plenty of comic timing to go around. However, Greig has admitted to inadvertently breaking character and laughing on set during her time on Green Wing, so we’re expecting at least a couple of random moments during the play’s run.