twelfth night


  • In New York City, Turn to Flesh Productions, a theatre company that specializes in creating “new Shakespeare shows”, developed two plays focused on Malvolio: A Comedy of Heirors,
    or The Imposters by verse playwright, Emily C. A. Snyder, which imagined a disgraced Malvolio chasing down two pairs of female twins in Syracuse and Ephesus, and Malvolio’s Revenge by verse playwright, Duncan Pflaster, a queer sequel to Twelfth

  • Elizabeth Hand’s novella Illyria features a high school production of Twelfth Night, containing many references to the play, especially Feste’s song.

  • The earliest public performance took place at Middle Temple Hall, one of the Inns of Court, on 2 February (Candlemas night) in 1602 recorded in an entry in the diary of the
    lawyer John Manningham, who wrote: At our feast we had a play called “Twelve Night, or What You Will”, much like “The Comedy of Errors” or “Menaechmi” in Plautus, but most like and near to that in Italian called “Inganni”.

  • Plays[edit] Theatre Grottesco, a Lecocq-inspired company based out of Santa Fe, New Mexico, created a modern version of the play from the point of view of the servants working
    for Duke Orsino and Lady Olivia, entitled Grottesco’s 12th Night (2008).

  • “[60] American playwright Ken Ludwig wrote a play inspired by the details of Twelfth Night, called Leading Ladies.

  • Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a romantic comedy by William Shakespeare that is believed to have been written around 1601–1602 as a Twelfth Night entertainment for the
    close of the Christmas season.

  • Sara Farizan’s 2014 young adult novel “Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel” features a high school production of the play, where the “new girl” Saskia plays Viola/Cesario
    and catches the attention of the main character, Leila.

  • The company of Shakespeare’s Globe, London, has produced many notable, highly popular all-male performances, and a highlight of their 2002 season was Twelfth Night, with the
    Globe’s artistic director Mark Rylance playing the part of Olivia.

  • [41][42][43][44] Both plays were originally written for submission to the American Shakespeare Center’s call for plays in conversation with the Bard through the Shakespeare’s
    New Contemporaries program.

  • She is presented in the final scene of the film as William Shakespeare’s “true” inspiration for the heroine of Twelfth Night.

  • [21] Clearly, Manningham enjoyed the Malvolio story most of all, and noted the play’s similarity with Shakespeare’s earlier play, as well as its relationship with one of its
    sources, the Inganni plays.

  • [19] Performance history During and just after Shakespeare’s lifetime[edit] Twelfth Night, or What You Will (to give the play its full title) was probably commissioned for
    performance as part of the Twelfth Night celebrations held by Queen Elizabeth I at Whitehall Palace on 6 January 1601 to mark the end of the embassy of the Italian diplomat, the Duke of Orsino.

  • In a nod to the shipwrecked opening of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, the movie includes a scene where the character Viola, separated from her love by an arranged marriage and
    bound for the American colonies, survives a shipwreck and comes ashore to Virginia.

  • [28] In March 2017, the Royal National Theatre’s production of Twelfth Night[29] changed some of the roles from male to female, including Feste, Fabian (which became Fabia),
    and most notably, Malvolio – which became Malvolia – played by Tamsin Greig to largely positive reviews.

  • The Baker Street Irregulars believe Sherlock Holmes’s birthday to be 6 January due to the fact that Holmes quotes twice from Twelfth Night whereas he quotes only once from
    other Shakespeare plays.

  • [25](p 15) This has sometimes correlated with how far productions of the play go towards reaffirming a sense of unification, for example a 1947 production concentrated on
    showing a post-World War II community reuniting at the end of the play, led by a robust hero / heroine in Viola, played by Beatrix Lehmann, then 44 years old.

  • Produced for the new medium by George More O’Ferrall, the production is also notable for having featured a young actress who would later go on to win an Academy Award – Greer

  • [17] Other influences of the English folk tradition can be seen in Feste’s songs and dialogue, such as his final song in Act V.[18] The last line of this song, “And we’ll
    strive to please you every day”, is a direct echo of similar lines from several English folk plays.

  • Restoration to 20th century[edit] A Scene from Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare: Act V, Scene i (William Hamilton, c. 1797) The play was also one of the earliest Shakespearean
    works acted at the start of the Restoration; Sir William Davenant’s adaptation was staged in 1661, with Thomas Betterton in the role of Sir Toby Belch.

  • Adaptations Stage[edit] Musicals[edit] Due to its themes such as young women seeking independence in a “man’s world”, “gender bending” and “same sex attraction”,[35] there
    have been a number of re-workings for the stage, particularly in musical theatre, among them Your Own Thing (1968), Music Is (1977), All Shook Up (2005), and Play On!

  • Yet another TV adaptation followed in 1980.

  • Another adaptation is Illyria (2002) by composer Pete Mills, which continues to perform regularly throughout the United States.

  • Clive Barker’s short story “Sex, Death and Starshine” revolves around a doomed production of Twelfth Night.

  • Illyria is also referred to as a site of pirates in Shakespeare’s earlier play, Henry VI, Part 2.

  • [15] The plot against Malvolio revolves around these ideas, and Fabian remarks in Act III, Scene iv: “If this were play’d upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable

  • Subtitles for plays were fashionable in the Elizabethan era, and though some editors place The Merchant of Venice’s alternative title, The Jew of Venice, as a subtitle, this
    is the only Shakespeare play to bear one when first published.

  • In 1943, Erich Korngold also set the songs “Adieu, Good Man Devil” (Act IV, Scene 2), “Hey, Robin” (Act IV, Scene 2), and “For the Rain, It Raineth Every Day” (Act V, Scene
    1) as a song cycle entitled Narrenlieder, Op.

  • [citation needed] The Duel Scene from ‘Twelfth Night’ by William Shakespeare, William Powell Frith (1842) As the very nature of Twelfth Night explores gender identity and
    sexual attraction, having a male actor play Viola enhanced the impression of androgyny and sexual ambiguity.

  • Victoria Glendinning comments, in her introduction to the novel: “Sebastian is the boy-heir that Vita would like to have been… Viola is very like the girl that Vita actually

  • Influence The play consistently ranks among the greatest plays ever written[56][57] and has been dubbed as “The Perfect Comedy”.

  • [14] Viola’s reply, “I am not that I play”, epitomising her adoption of the role of “Cesario” (Viola), is regarded as one of several references to theatricality and “playing”
    within the play.

  • In 1957, another adaptation of the play was presented by NBC on U.S. television’s Hallmark Hall of Fame, with Maurice Evans recreating his performance as Malvolio.

  • [25](pp 18–20) The 1966 Royal Shakespeare Company production played on gender transgressions more obviously, with Diana Rigg as Viola showing much more physical attraction
    towards the duke than previously seen, and the court in general being a more physically demonstrative place, particularly between males.

  • An episode of the British series Skins, entitled Grace, featured the main characters playing Twelfth Night, with a love triangle between Franky, Liv and Matty, who respectively
    played Viola, Olivia and Orsino.

  • Poster advertising performances of Twelfth Night by Yale University Dramatic Association, New Haven, Connecticut, 1921 Lilian Baylis reopened the long-dormant Sadler’s Wells
    Theatre in 1931 with a notable production of the play starring Ralph Richardson as Sir Toby and John Gielgud as Malvolio.

  • A 2003 tele-movie adapted and directed by Tim Supple is set in the present day.

  • Television[edit] On 14 May 1937, the BBC Television Service in London broadcast a thirty-minute excerpt of the play, the first known instance of a work of Shakespeare being
    performed on television.

  • In the 2004 movie Wicker Park, Rose Byrne’s character Alex plays Viola in an amateur production of Twelfth Night.

  • [36] In 1999, the play was adapted as Epiphany by the Takarazuka Revue, adding more overt commentary on the role of theatre and actors, as well as gender as applied to the
    stage (made more layered by the fact that all roles in this production were played by women).

  • Film[edit] See also: Shakespeare on screen § Twelfth Night In 1910, Vitagraph Studios released the silent, short adaptation Twelfth Night starring actors Florence Turner,
    Julia Swayne Gordon and Marin Sais.

  • Shakespeare in Love contains several references to Twelfth Night.

  • [16] In Act IV, Scene ii, Feste (The Fool) plays both parts in the “play” for Malvolio’s benefit, alternating between adopting the voice of the local curate, Sir Topas, and
    his own voice.

  • Agatha Christie’s 1940 mystery novel Sad Cypress draws its title from a song in Act II, Scene IV of Twelfth Night.

  • [25](p 34) Malvolio is a popular character choice among stage actors; others who have taken the part include Ian Holm many times, Simon Russell Beale (Donmar Warehouse, 2002),
    Richard Cordery (2005), Patrick Stewart, (Chichester, 2007), Derek Jacobi (Donmar Warehouse, 2009), Richard Wilson (2009)[26] and Stephen Fry (The Globe, 2012).

  • [10] This was the first recorded public performance of the play.

  • It has been noted that the play’s setting also has other English allusions such as Viola’s use of “Westward ho!

  • It is set in a prep school named Illyria and incorporates the names of the play’s major characters.

  • [46] The entire play was produced for television in 1939, directed by Michel Saint-Denis and starring another future Oscar-winner, Peggy Ashcroft.

  • [25](p 30) John Barton’s 1969 production starred Donald Sinden as Malvolio and Judi Dench as Viola; their performances were highly acclaimed and the production as a whole
    was commented on as showing a dying society crumbling into decay.

  • [37][38] There are many new modern plays but mostly still played in Early Modern English.

  • The actual Elizabethan festival of Twelfth Night would involve the antics of a Lord of Misrule, who before leaving his temporary position of authority, would call for entertainment,
    songs, and mummery; the play has been regarded as preserving this festive and traditional atmosphere of licensed disorder.

  • In 2018, the Public Theatre workshopped and premiered a musical adaptation of Twelfth Night with original music by Shaina Taub, who also played the role of Feste.

  • [24] Interpretations of the role of Viola have been given by many well-renowned actresses in the latter half of the 20th century, and have been interpreted in the light of
    how far they allow the audience to experience the transgressions of stereotypical gender roles.

  • “Come Away, Come Away, Death” (Act II, Scene 4) has been set to music by composers Gerald Finzi (1942), Erich Korngold (1943), Roger Quilter, and Jean Sibelius (in a Swedish
    translation Kom nu hit in 1957).

  • One of Club Penguin’s plays, Twelfth Fish, is a spoof of Shakespeare’s works.

  • “, a typical cry of 16th century London boatmen, and also Antonio’s recommendation to Sebastian of “The Elephant” as where it is best to lodge in Illyria (The Elephant was
    a pub not far from the Globe Theatre).

  • Shakespeare’s love interest in the film, “Viola” (Gwyneth Paltrow), is the daughter of a wealthy merchant who disguises herself as a boy to become an actor; while Shakespeare,
    a financially struggling playwright suffering from writer’s block, is trying to write Romeo and Juliet.

  • [23] When the play was first performed, all female parts were played by men or boys, but it has been the practice for some centuries now to cast women or girls in the female
    parts in all plays.

  • Near the end of the movie, Elizabeth I (Judi Dench) asks Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) to write a comedy for the Twelfth Night holiday.

  • Upon meeting Viola, Countess Olivia falls in love with her thinking she is a man.

  • The 2006 romantic comedy She’s the Man is loosely based on Twelfth Night.

  • The play expanded on the musical interludes and riotous disorder expected of the occasion,[1] with plot elements drawn from the short story “Of Apollonius and Silla” by Barnabe
    Rich, based on a story by Matteo Bandello.

  • Another version for UK television was produced in 1969, directed by John Sichel and John Dexter.

  • Another adaptation, Love Betray’d, or, The Agreeable Disappointment, was acted at Lincoln’s Inn Fields in 1703.

  • Radio[edit] An adaptation of Twelfth Night by Cathleen Nesbitt for the BBC was the first complete Shakespeare play ever broadcast on British radio.

  • [5] After holding the stage only in the adaptations in the late 17th century and early 18th century, the original Shakespearean text of Twelfth Night was revived in 1741,
    in a production at Drury Lane.

  • [34] In 2022, Liverpool-based Theatre Company Old Fruit Jar Productions staged a 1980s inspired twist on the Shakespeare classic at Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre, swapping
    Lords and Ladies of stately homes for rowdy Benidorm bars and booze-fuelled escapades, serving as an introduction to Shakespeare for new audiences unfamiliar with his work.

  • Themes Sex[edit] Viola is not alone among Shakespeare’s cross-dressing heroines; in Shakespeare’s theatre, convention dictated that adolescent boys play the roles of female
    characters, creating humour in the multiplicity of disguise found in a female character who for a while pretended at masculinity.

  • [9] The play was probably finished between 1600 and 1601, a period suggested by the play’s referencing of events that happened during that time.


Works Cited

[‘The carnival-like atmosphere is based on the then-1,000 year earlier, ancient Roman festival of the Saturnalia held at the same time of year. The Saturnalia was characterized by drunken revelry and inversion of the social order: Masters became servants
for a day, and vice versa.
1. Thomson, Peter (1983). Shakespeare’s Theatre. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 94. ISBN 0-7100-9480-9. OCLC 9154553. Shakespeare, having tackled the theatrical problems of providing Twelfth Night with effective
musical interludes, found his attitude toward his material changed. An episodic story became in his mind a thing of dreams and themes.
2. ^ Torbarina, Josip (June 1964). “The Settings of Shakespeare’s Plays”. Studia Romanica et Anglica Zagrabiensia.
– (17–18): 21–59. ISSN 0039-3339. OCLC 760940009.
3. ^ Shakespeare, William (2004). Donno, Elizabeth Story (ed.). Twelfth night, or, What you will (Updated ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-521-82792-8. OCLC 54824521.
4. ^
Caldecott, Henry Stratford (1896). Our English Homer, or, The Bacon–Shakespeare Controversy: A Lecture. Johannesburg Times. Johannesburg. p. 9. OCLC 83492745.
5. ^ Jump up to:a b Halliday, F.E. (1964). A Shakespeare Companion 1564–1964 (First ed.).
Harmondsworth: Penguin. pp. 71, 505. OCLC 69117982.
6. ^ Griffin, Alice (1966). The Sources of Ten Shakespearean Plays (First ed.). New York: T.Y. Crowell. OCLC 350534.
7. ^ Jump up to:a b c Laroque, François (1991). Shakespeare’s Festive World:
Elizabethan seasonal entertainment and the professional stage. Cambridge University Press.
8. ^ Clayton, Thomas (Autumn 1985). “Shakespeare at the Guthrie: Twelfth Night”. Shakespeare Quarterly. 36 (3): 354. doi:10.2307/2869718. JSTOR 2869718.
9. ^
Jump up to:a b Shakespeare, William; Stephen Greenblatt; Walter Cohen; Jean E. Howard; Katharine Eisaman Maus; Andrew Gurr (1997). The Norton Shakespeare (First ed.). New York: W.W. Norton. pp. 40, 1090. ISBN 0-393-97087-6.
10. ^ Hobgood, Allison
P. (Fall 2006). “Twelfth Night’s “Notorious Abuse” of Malvolio: Shame, Humorality, and Early Modern Spectatorship” (PDF). Shakespeare Bulletin. 24 (3): 1–22. doi:10.1353/shb.2006.0049. S2CID 26734928. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
11. ^ Hodgdon,
Barbara: “Sexual Disguise and the Theatre of Gender” in The Cambridge Companion to Shakespearean Comedy, edited by Alexander Leggatt. Cambridge University Press, 2002, p. 186.
12. ^ Jump up to:a b Charles, Casey. “Gender Trouble in Twelfth Night”.
Theatre Journal. Vol. 49, No. 2 (1997): 121–141 [124].
13. ^ Smith, Bruce R. “Introduction”. Twelfth Night. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2001.
14. ^ Lothian and Craik, p. 30.
15. ^ Righter, Anne. Shakespeare and the Idea of the Play. Chatto
& Windus, 1962, p. 130.
16. ^ Righter, p. 136.
17. ^ Righter, p. 133.
18. ^ Weimann, Robert. Shakespeare and the Popular Tradition in the Theater: Studies in the Social Dimension of Dramatic Form and Function, p. 41. The Johns Hopkins University
Press, 1978.
19. ^ Weimann, p. 43.
20. ^ Hotson, Leslie (1954). The First Night of Twelfth Night (First ed.). New York: Macmillan. OCLC 353282.
21. ^ Shakespeare, William; Smith, Bruce R. (2001). Twelfth Night: Texts and Contexts. Boston: Bedford/St
Martin’s. p. 2. ISBN 0-312-20219-9.
22. ^ Clayton, Thomas (Autumn 1985). “Shakespeare at The Guthrie: Twelfth Night”. Shakespeare Quarterly. Vol. 36, no. 3. pp. 353–359.
23. ^ The production was extensively reviewed by Clayton[22]
24. ^ Jump
up to:a b Costa, Maddy (1 October 2012). “Stephen Fry’s Twelfth Night: This all-male affair is no one-man show”. The Guardian. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
25. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Gay, Penny (1994). As She Likes It: Shakespeare’s unruly heroines. London,
UK: Routledge.
26. ^ Costa, Maddy (20 October 2009). “Malvolio – the killjoy the stars love to play”. The Guardian. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
27. ^ “Anne Hathaway in Twelfth Night: What did the critics think?”. The Los Angeles Times (blog).
Culture Monster. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
28. ^ “Anne Hathaway’s lesbian kiss?”. 18 June 2009. Retrieved 30 November 2020.
29. ^ “Twelfth Night – National Theatre”. 4 November 2016.
30. ^
Clapp, Susannah (26 February 2017). “Twelfth Night review – on high gender alert with Tamsin Greig”. The Guardian.
31. ^ Billington, Michael (23 February 2017). “Twelfth Night review – Tamsin Greig is brilliant in a show full of fun”. The Guardian.
32. ^
Cavendish, Dominic (23 February 2017). “Twelfth Night, National’s Olivier Theatre review: Tamsin Greig shines in a production otherwise at sea”. The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022.
33. ^ Dowell, Ben (23 February 2017).
“Twelfth Night theatre review: Tamsin Greig brings dazzling comic brio to a gender-bending production”. Radio Times.
34. ^ “Christopher Luscombe’s production Twelfth Night”. Royal Shakespeare Company. 2017.
35. ^ Examined, for example, in Jami
Ake, “Glimpsing a ‘Lesbian’ Poetics in Twelfth Night”, SEL: Studies in English Literature 1500–1900, 43.2, Tudor and Stuart Drama (Spring 2003) pp. 375–394.
36. ^ Brantley, Ben (19 August 2018). “Review: In a Blissful Musical ‘Twelfth Night’
in Central Park, Song Is Empathy”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
37. ^ “Epiphany (Star, 1999) Epiphany (Bow Shakespeare Series #8)”. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved
11 December 2010.
38. ^ Chen, Yilin (March 2010). “Gender and homosexuality in Takarazuka theatre: Twelfth Night and Epiphany”. Performing Ethos:international Journal of Ethics in Theatre and Performance. 1: 53–67. doi:10.1386/peet.1.1.53_1. Retrieved
6 December 2019.
39. ^ “12th Night”. theatergrottesco. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
40. ^ Dalness, Amy. “Performance Review: Grottesco’s 12th Night at the Santa Fe Opera’s Stieren Hall”. alibi. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
41. ^ Knapp, Zelda (28
December 2017). “A work unfinishing: My Favorite Theater of 2017”. A work unfinishing. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
42. ^ “Malvolio’s Revenge”.
43. ^ “Malvolio’s Revenge | New Play Exchange”. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
44. ^
“A Comedy of Heirors | New Play Exchange”. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
45. ^ “Twelfth Night: Or What You Will (1996)”. Foster on Film. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
46. ^ Vahimagi, Tise; British Film Institute (1994). British
Television: An Illustrated Guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 8. ISBN 0-19-818336-4.
47. ^ British Universities Film & Video Council. Retrieved 19 April 2016
48. ^ Irmen, Hans-Josef (2014). Engelbert Humperdinck Werkverzeichnis (2 ed.).
Cologne (Köln): Dohr. p. 79. ISBN 9783868461220.
49. ^ “O mistress mine, where are you roaming? (Shakespeare) (The LiederNet Archive: Texts and Translations to Lieder, mélodies, canzoni, and other classical vocal music)”. Retrieved
5 April 2021.
50. ^ “O Mistress Mine”. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
51. ^ “English Lyrics (Parry, Charles Hubert Hastings) – IMSLP: Free Sheet Music PDF Download”. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
52. ^ “3 Shakespeare Songs,
Op.37 (Beach, Amy Marcy) – IMSLP: Free Sheet Music PDF Download”. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
53. ^ Fifty Modern English Songs. London: Boosey & Co. c. 1927. pp. 161–163.
54. ^ “Album of 10 Songs (Barratt, Walter Augustus) – IMSLP: Free
Sheet Music PDF Download”. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
55. ^ “O Mistress Mine”. David Barton Music. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
56. ^ “The 50 Best Plays of All Time”. timeout. 11 March 2020.
57. ^ “Michael Billington’s 101 Greatest Plays
of All Time”. thegurdian. 2 September 2015.
58. ^ “Best Shakespeare Productions”. thegurdian. 21 April 2014.
59. ^ “The best Shakespeare comedies”. timeout. 12 October 2016.
60. ^ The Edwardians, Introduction p. xi, Virago Modern Classics, 1983.
61. ^
“मदनाची मंजिरी”. Archived from the original on 21 February 2021.
• Donno, Elizabeth Story (ed.): Twelfth Night (Cambridge, 2003)
• Mahood, M. M. (ed.) Twelfth Night (Penguin, 1995)
• Pennington, Michael: Twelfth Night:
a user’s guide (New York, 2000)
• Mulherin, Jennifer: Twelfth Night (Shakespeare for Everyone)
Photo credit:’]