Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre has provided the perfect venue for an evening’s entertainment for those staying in luxury hotel rooms in London since it opened in 1997.
But now fans of the Bard will have an extra reason to visit the reconstructed Elizabethan venue after it was announced that Stephen Fry is to make his long-awaited return to the stage playing the role of Malvolio in Twelfth Night at the vtheatre later this year.
It will mark Fry’s first major theatre role after he famously walked out on a West End production of Simon Gray’s Cell Mates at the start of its run in 1995 and fled to Belgium, an incident he later revealed was down to his bi-polar disorder.
In the biography on Fry’s personal website the experience is described as nearly the “undoing” of his career.
“Walking out of the play at the beginning of its West End run Fry vanished. Contemplating suicide, he disappeared off to Belgium,” it says.
“The experience still haunts him, but the depression has now faded to embarrassment and the anger to forgiveness. Stephen Fry is now a man content.”
In his new role, Fry will star opposite the Globe’s former artistic director Mark Rylance, who will play Lady Olivia.
Rylance will be reprising the role he played in the 2002 run of Twelfth Night at the Globe, with both that production and the new staging featuring an all-male cast.
Liam Brennan and Peter Hamilton Dyer will reprise their 2002 roles as Orsino and jester Feste respectively, BBC News reports.
Twelfth Night is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies and tells the story of a shipwrecked woman who disguises herself as a man and enters the service of a local Duke, only to become the object of affection of Lady Olivia, who does not realise the person she has fallen for is actually a woman.
The play will run for three weeks from September 22nd.