Les Dennis to star in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night

Wednesday 7th February 2024, 9:54am

  • Les Dennis will play Malvolio in a modern reimagining of Twelfth Night at Liverpool's Shakespeare North Playhouse between 7th and 29th June
  • Of taking on the role, he says: "Ever since I went to Stratford with the school and saw it I have always wanted to do it"
  • The producers promise "a dynamic fusion of Shakespearean tradition and contemporary flair, offering audiences an exhilarating theatrical experience unlike any other"
Twelfth Night at Shakespeare North Playhouse, 2024. Les Dennis

Les Dennis is set to take to the Shakespeare North Playhouse stage as Malvolio in Twelfth Night this summer.

The play will run at the Liverpool venue from 7th to 29th June 2024.

The news comes via production company Not Too Tame announcement of "a brilliantly bold rendition of William Shakespeare's timeless comedy".

The producers say: "Not Too Tame & Shakespeare North Playhouse give this classic comedy a contemporary revamp with a dose of riffs, ruffs, and riotous partying. Prepare to be transported into a world where the stage is set, the music is pumping, and love takes centre stage as the ultimate headliner. Trinifold Management (The Who, Jimmy Paige, UB40, Standin Man) will be opening up their archives and working alongside the design team to help inform this production.

"Les Dennis, renowned for his versatility and captivating stage presence, will step into the iconic role of Malvolio, the puritanical and pompous servant of the countess Olivia."

Les Dennis says: "I am thrilled to be playing Malvolio in Twelfth Night. Ever since I went to Stratford with the school and saw it I have always wanted to do it. The great Sir Ken Dodd famously played the part, and the fact that Shakespeare North has a Doddy garden through the support of Lady Dodd and the Sir Ken Dodd Foundation is an additional bonus. How tickled I am to be following in his footsteps."

Not Too Tame's artistic director, Jimmy Fairhurst, will direct the production. He comments: "Ding Ding! And bells out for round two! I'm thrilled to be announcing our second co-production with the incredible team at Shakespeare North Playhouse. After the successes of A Midsummer Night's Dream last year which saw packed-out audiences on their feet night after night, I'm coming back with more of the same... but I'm turning it up to 11. I believe Twelfth Night is naturally an accessible play for a modern audience and one that warrants the best soundtrack. I'm keen to dig into the themes of appearance, acceptance and how we treat people and in return, wish to be treated. We will be working with a host of diverse working-class artists and the legendary Les Dennis to create a production that is as hilarious as it is heartbreaking and feels like a big weekend away at a festival. So grab your wristbands and see you down the front."

Open auditions for Twelfth Night will be announced in due course.

Laura Collier, creative director at the Prescot-based Shakespeare North Playhouse, comments: "We are so thrilled to once again collaborate with our associate artists, Not Too Tame, to bring Twelfth Night to life at Shakespeare North Playhouse. This production promises to be a dynamic fusion of Shakespearean tradition and contemporary flair, offering audiences an exhilarating theatrical experience unlike any other.

"Not Too Tame are a superb creative powerhouse who consistently produce high-quality, unique, and poignant work that celebrates and platforms working-class narratives and actors.

"Twelfth Night is a comedy that mirrors the complexities of life itself, exploring the breadth of human relationships and societal dynamics. This production promises an experience that will linger in the hearts and minds of our audiences long after the final bow."

Tickets are on sale via shakespearenorthplayhouse.co.uk

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