There is one show on the lips of the critics this autumn, the Globe’s Twelfth Night.
When a rare production like this arrives in London with a spectacular all star cast, I am careful to book for the start of the run, terrified and paranoid that the stars will “get tired” or “pull out due to illness”; with John Rylance and Stephen Fry appearing, I was not willing to risk that. Booking opened months and months ago, I had it pencilled in my diary and rang up immediately, two standing tickets for opening night please. I’d almost forgotten about it when the date finally came round.
This magical production marks Stephen Fry’s return to the stage after his stage fright debacle in 1995, which led him to flee from the show after the first week. Determined to bring him back to the stage, Rylance asked him to choose his dream role, and the rest is history. The play is, as all expected, a resounding success, not least because the cast are both as a whole and individually faultless. The visual production, timing and music all complement the actors beautifully. Rylance is chillingly sublime as the white-faced Olivia, Fry conquers as mad Malvolio and Johnny Flynn is surprisingly flirtatious and feminine as Viola, a part very different from the roles I have seen him play previously.
The show transfers to the Apollo Theatre form November 2nd and will undoubtedly receive five-star reviews there as well. An absolute triumph of talent and theatricality. Start queuing for returns now!
Buy tickets for the Apollo theatre run here.