Simon Godwin’s production of the Shakespeare comedy recently opened at the National Theatre, with a cast including Tamsin Greig.
Greig, whose career includes TV roles in Episodes and Green Wing, takes on the role of the usually-male puritanical steward Malvolio, who is tricked into believing his boss is in love with him.
However, in Godwin’s production the character is gender-flipped as Malvolia – a change that brings a distinct lesbian element to the 415-year-old story.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Greig praised the fluid nature of gender in theatre, adding that now “there is no part that a woman can’t do”.
I think the way Simon has directed it, he has really opened the conversation about the fluidity of identity. We don’t define ourselves nowadays — possibly always, but the conversation is hot now — within recognised boundaries anymore.
Because it is a hot conversation you have to be careful about how you participate in it, and not just participate in it for its own sake.”
A string of recent Shakespeare adaptations have embraced the gender-fluidity that was at the heart of traditional Shakespeare productions.