Friday, 7 April 2017

The National Theatre's 2017 production of William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" (1601-2): A Review

This is probably the best production of Twelfth Night I have ever seen. Given that that list includes productions starring Derek Jacobi, Stephen Fry, Ron Cook, Mark Rylance, Indira Varma, Nigel Hawthorne, Imelda Staunton, Ben Kingsley, Richard E. Grant, Helena Bonham Carter, etc., etc., then you know, hopefully, that I do not say that lightly. I should be clear that I have enjoyed most of the other productions very much - the 1990s film version is highly recommended - and Derek Jacobi's performance as Malvolio was an absolute gold standard, the One To Beat, as it were. And yet... and yet... I don't think any of the other productions I've seen quite seized the play by its balls, rewove it into delightfully new patterns and shapes and made me utterly reinterpret things - but the production currently running at the National Theatre starring Tamsin Greig as Malvolia, Phoebe Fox as Olivia and Tamara Lawrence as Viola did all this and more.