The Pitchfork Disney
Shoreditch Town Hall, 27th January to 18th March
Philip Ridley is an underrated playwright so director Jamie Lloyd’s “immersive” production of his first stage success in the atmospheric subterranean spaces of Shoreditch Town Hall promises to be a major event. In 1991, the tale of 28-year-old twins locked up in their East London hideaway suggested a Cockney version of Jean Cocteau’s Les Enfants Terribles; a revival four years ago tuned into the social phenomenon of “shut-ins.” The premiere of a new monologue collection, Killer (22nd February to 8th April), leads us down other mysterious pathways.
National Theatre, 15th February to 17th April
Sexual confusion lies at the heart of Twelfth Night in the passion of Orsino for Viola, disguised as a boy. Simon Godwin’s production adds to the mayhem by casting three female actors as the puritanical steward Malvolio (Tamsin Greig), the cynical clown Feste (Doon Mackichan) and the hanger-on Fabian (Imogen Doel). Greig is a lovely comedian so might even succeed in making Malvolio funny.
Hull Truck Theatre, Hull, 24th February to 18th March
Playwright Richard Bean marks his native Hull’s “City of Culture year” with an adaptation of Molière set during the Civil War, comparable to his reworking of Goldoni in the brilliant One Man, Two Guvnors. Sir John Hotham, Hull MP and landowner, is charged by parliament in 1642 with denying King Charles entry to Hull and thus triggering war. His domestic life impinges, farcically, and he ends up headless; well, they both did.