Entertainment & Arts

Twelfth Night: Can you recognise this well-known actress in her latest role?

Tamsin Greig as Malvolia in Twelfth Night Image copyright NAtional Theatre
Image caption She has previously starred opposite Matt LeBlanc in Episodes

Do you recognise this actress?

You've probably seen her in a million TV shows - but you could be forgiven for not recognising her in her latest role.

We'll give you a few clues: Black Books, Episodes, Friday Night Dinner, Green Wing.

Image copyright NAtional Theatre
Image caption The actress stars in the National Theatre's new production of Twelfth Night

Yes - it's Tamsin Greig.

So why has she dared to be seen on stage in a Ms Trunchball-style outfit and long hair?

Well, it's for her role in the National Theatre's new production of Twelfth Night.

'Masterstroke of casting'

She plays the role of Malvolia in the production.

"Hang on, there's nobody called Malvolia in Twelfth Night," the Shakespeare scholars among you are probably thinking.

Yes, well, this is a gender-bending production which sees Greig play the role as a woman rather than a man.

It adds a whole new layer of enjoyment to a play with a gender-swapping plot at its heart.

The show opened on Wednesday evening - and critics were impressed with Greig's performance.

Image copyright NAtional Theatre

"Tamsin Greig is brilliant in the part. Every gesture is full of attitude," wrote the Evening Standard's Henry Hitchings.

"It's a performance of wit and immense poise, which perfectly captures the character's neuroses about rank."

Natasha Tripney of The Stage said: "As Malvolio - here Malvolia - Tamsin Greig joins the list of women playing major Shakespearean roles. It's a masterstroke of casting.

"She doesn't just steal her scenes she starts up her own black market. Hers is a performance of great comic skill."

Image caption Here's Tamsin looking a lot more familiar in BBC romantic comedy Love Soup

The Telegraph's Dominic Cavendish said Greig "makes the part her own" although he was slightly less warm about the production overall, awarding it three stars.

"It's hit and miss - or hit and mister (whatever suits) - more a straightforward romp than a strange tragicomedy of unrequited love and mistaken identity."

Twelfth Night is at the Olivier Theatre in London until 17 April and will be broadcast live to cinemas on Thursday 6 April.


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