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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best entertainment magazine in the UK“, beloved actor, comedian, and TV Presenter, Les Dennis, is taking to the Shakespeare North Playhouse stage as Malvolio in Twelfth Night this June.

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Twelfth Night

9m, and Shakespeare North Playhouse proudly announce another dynamic co-production, bringing forth a brilliantly bold rendition of William Shakespeare’s timeless comedy, ‘Twelfth Night’.

Following the resounding success of their previous collaboration, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, the producing duo return to captivate audiences with a signature blend of exhilarating and anarchic experimental theatre.

Les Dennis in Twelfth Night on The Table Read Magazine
Les Dennis in Twelfth Night

Not Too Tame & Shakespeare North Playhouse give this classic comedy a contemporary revamp with a dose of riffs, ruffs, and riotous partying. Prepare to be transported into a world where the stage is set, the music is pumping, and love takes centre stage as the ultimate headliner. Trinifold Management (The Who, Jimmy Paige, UB40, Standin Man) will be opening up their archives and working alongside the design team to help inform this production. 

Directed by Not Too Tame’s Artistic Director, Jimmy Fairhurst (A Midsummer Night’s Dream– Not Too Tame, Shakespeare North Playhouse; The Social– Not Too Tame, Northern Soul; Palace of Varieties– Derby Theatre)  this rendition of Twelfth Night is a raucous celebration of unrequited love and mistaken identities, set against the backdrop of the music scene.

Nominated for Best Director at the UK Theatre Awards in 2023 for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jimmy is a director, writer, and actor who creates and develops shows that are steeped in working class culture, with a focus on audiences who feel that theatre isn’t for them.

We are so thrilled to once again collaborate with our Associate Artists, Not Too Tame, to bring Twelfth Night to life at Shakespeare North Playhouse. This production promises to be a dynamic fusion of Shakespearean tradition and contemporary flair, offering audiences an exhilarating theatrical experience unlike any other.

Not Too Tame are a superb creative powerhouse who consistently produce high-quality, unique, and poignant work that celebrates and platforms working-class narratives and actors.

Twelfth Night is a comedy that mirrors the complexities of life itself, exploring the breadth of human relationships and societal dynamics. This production promises an experience that will linger in the hearts and minds of our audiences long after the final bow.

-Laura Collier, Creative Director at Shakespeare North Playhouse

Les Dennis

Les Dennis, renowned for his versatility and captivating stage presence, will step into the iconic role of Malvolio, the puritanical and pompous servant of the countess Olivia.

Les Dennis, one of the UK’s most renowned entertainers, boasts a 50-year showbiz career. Hailing from Liverpool, he rose as a comedian in the 1970s and dominated Saturday night TV in the 80s and 90s. He recently returned to Saturday night TV with a fabulous turn on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. In recent years, Les has enjoyed a thriving career as an actor, performing with companies such as the Royal Shakespeare Company and the English National Opera, and in numerous hit plays and musicals in the West End and on tour, as well as a regular role on Coronation Street.

I am thrilled to be playing Malvolio in Twelfth Night. Ever since I went to Stratford with the school and saw it I have always wanted to do it. The great Sir Ken Dodd famously played the part, and the fact that Shakespeare North has a Doddy garden through the support of Lady Dodd and the Sir Ken Dodd Foundation is an additional bonus. How tickled I am to be following in his footsteps.

-Les Dennis

Not Too Tame

NTT are award-winning, ‘great night out’ specialists producing high-octane, heart-on-sleeve stories that are steeped in working-class culture, and made by working-class artists.

Our work celebrates regional identity, champions Community and feels like a gig. We craft exhilarating night’s out across a variety of venue types and highlight to audiences that theatre IS for them, both as a form of entertainment and as a potential career path.

Not Too Tame are proud associate artists of Derby Theatre and Shakespeare North Playhouse and have worked with a plethora of National Portfolio Organisations over their ten years to help them successfully reach and entertain audiences previously not yet engaged.

At Not Too Tame we put our audiences at the very heart of what we do.

Not Too Tame is an independent theatre company based in Warrington.

Twitter: @nottootame

Instagram: @nottoootame

Shakespeare North Playhouse

Awarded ‘Theatre Building of The Year 2023’ at The Stage Awards, Shakespeare North Playhouse is a ground-breaking new venue located in Prescot, Liverpool which opened in July 2022. Home to the only 17th-century style, timber-built “Cockpit” theatre outside London, able to configure in to two formations end-on and in-the-round. Built entirely during the pandemic thanks to public funds and donations, the venue is anticipated to attract over 140,000 visitors a year to the region. Lead architect for the project is Helm Architecture, and Austin-Smith: Lord as support architect.

Housed inside this modern, energy-efficient building, the venue is also home to a fully accessible outdoor performance garden funded by the Ken Dodd Charitable Foundation, exhibition gallery, 60-seater studio theatre, learning centre, events spaces, and a café and bar with outdoor piazza.

Shakespeare North Playhouse is playing a key role in the regeneration of Knowsley; impacting the people and communities by providing job opportunities, skills development, raising aspirations and increasing health and well-being. Since opening, over 100,000 people have visited, of which 10% had never set foot inside any theatre before.

Shakespeare North Playhouse is a National Portfolio Organisation. Funded by Knowsley Council, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Metro Mayor of The Liverpool City Region, Arts Council England and the Department for Culture Media and Sport.

Twitter: @ShakespeareNP

Instagram: @shakespearenorthplayhouse

Facebook: Shakespeare North Playhouse

Jimmy Fairhurst

Jimmy is a working-class actor, writer and Director from Warrington. In 2023 Jimmy received a UK Theatre award nomination for Best Director alongside Matthew Dunster for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

I’m thrilled to be announcing our second co-production with the incredible team at Shakespeare North Playhouse. After the successes of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ last year which saw packed-out audiences on their feet night after night, I’m coming back with more of the same…but I’m turning it up to 11. I believe ‘Twelfth Night’ is naturally an accessible play for a modern audience and one that warrants the best soundtrack.  I’m keen to dig into the themes of appearance, acceptance and how we treat people and in return, wish to be treated.  We will be working with a host of diverse working-class artists and the legendary Les Dennis to create a production that is as hilarious as it is heartbreaking and feels like a big weekend away at a festival. So grab your wristbands and see you down the front.

-Jimmy Fairhurst

After an early career in rugby league with Bradford Bulls and Leigh Centurions, Jimmy swapped the pitches of the North West for professional actor training at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Jimmy graduated from RWCMD as an actor in 2011 where he was awarded the John Gielgud award. Since then he has had the pleasure of working with an array of brilliant directors and companies, including Cheek By Jowl, Mike Leigh, Sarah Brigham, Cate Blanchett, Ruth Carney and Matthew Dunster.

Jimmy has also worked with a variety of musical artists in his earlier career as a tour manager. For Trinifold Management (The Who, UB40) Jimmy has tour managed for Slydigs across Canada, North America and Europe opening for THE WHO as well as other bands including Standin Man and Vintage Trouble.

Jimmy is the founder and artistic director of Not Too Tame, which he formed in 2014 with a cohort of working-class artists. For the company, he is an actor, writer and director. His work focuses on audiences, specifically creating work that attracts, engages and entertains the working class and those who feel theatre isn’t for them.

Find more now:

Sign up to become a Cockpit Circle Member to access priority on-sale tickets.

TITLE: Twelfth Night

VENUE: Shakespeare North Playhouse, Prospero Place, Prescot, L34 3AB (7 – 29 JUNE 24)

Shakespeare North Playhouse BOX OFFICE: 0151 433 7156/

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