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Les Dennis in Twelfth Night

Les Dennis plays Malvolio in a reimagined Twelfth Night at Shakespeare North Playhouse
Les Dennis plays Malvolio in a reimagined Twelfth Night at Shakespeare North Playhouse

First time theatregoers and communities who otherwise might not be able to afford theatre tickets will benefit from a new partnership between Prescot-based Shakespeare North Playhouse, Warrington theatre company Not Too Tame, and Warrington Borough Council.

SNP and Not Too Tame’s production of Twelfth Night (June 7-29) - with Les Dennis headlining alongside a lineup that includes multiple Warrington-born artists and musicians - promises a fresh approach to Shakespeare's classic.

Les Dennis follows his hero Ken Dodd when he plays puritanical and pompous servant Malvolio in the Shakespeare North Playhouse production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (June 7-29). He said: “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.”

Liverpudlian Les boasts a 50-year showbiz career, having risen 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 turn on Strictly Come Dancing, and as an actor has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company, English National Opera and many more, in hit plays and musicals. He's also been a regular on Coronation Street.

In advance of Twelfth Night, Warrington will be the location for events, performances and workshops for residents to get a taste of the show throughout this month

Spoken word events and workshops will take place in venues across the town, including Warrington Museum and Art Gallery and Pyramid Arts Centre. A highlight of the taster activities will be special pop-up performances of the play itself at Warrington Market (May 24) and the Irish Club (May 30).

The production aims to achieve significant social impact, with a possible 10,000 attendees overall, with 1,000 Pay What You Decide tickets for residents of priority Warrington postcodes.

Claire Will, director of marketing at SNP, said "We are delighted to team up with Warrington Council to bring this production to fruition. We are not only reimagining Shakespeare for contemporary audiences but also empowering diverse voices and communities."

Eleanor Blackburn, Warrington council’s head of inclusive economy, leisure and culture, said: “It will be a unique production, celebrating diverse voices and helping make theatre accessible for a broad audience. It’s also great news that, in the run-up to June, people in Warrington will be able to enjoy a range of performances, events and workshops. It’s a great way of connecting with people of all ages.”

More info and tickets here



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