Solo play offers Twelfth Night told from the loser’s perspective

I, Malvolio
I, Malvolio

After touring to five continents, the solo play I, Malvolio returns to the Brighton Dome Studio Theatre – the place where it started – with a warning.

From Shanghai to Sydney, from Moscow to Manilla, Malvolio has a bone to pick with his audience (Friday and Saturday, March 13 and 14).

I, Malvolio is a charged and often unsettling rant from a man “notoriously wronged”, a man adrift in front of cruel spectators. It’s Twelfth Night told from the loser’s perspective. In a story of lost dignity, prudery, practical jokes and bullying, Malvolio draws his audience into the madness of Shakespeare’s play and makes it his own.

I, Malvolio is performed by Tim Crouch, a multi-award winning playwright and performer living in Brighton. His work has played in theatres and at festivals around the world. I, Malvolio is the fourth of his solo Shakespeare plays for young audiences. The series, commissioned by Brighton Festival, started in 2003 with I, Caliban; I, Peaseblossom; and I, Banquo followed, with subsequent runs in London, Dublin and New York City.

Tim said: “I’ve been a bit obsessed with Malvolio ever since I played him in a production of Twelfth Night in New York in 2001. As a character he resonates around ideas of order and anarchy, around the vulnerability of love, the tragic consequences of self-delusion.

“I like the irony that he is a theatre-hating puritan stuck inside a play, prone to all the random chaos an audience can inflict on a performer. He fits well for a teenage audience – an audience that is all too aware of the pitfalls of repression, the agonies of misunderstanding and the tyrannies of discipline.

“The intention is that each character tells the story of the Shakespeare play they come from. Twelfth Night is a fiendish maze of plot. Rather than trying to explain every twist and turn, I have let Malvolio run a little free. Maybe it’s what he would have wanted.”

Tickets on 01273 709709.