If you promise yourself one thing this week make it to go to the Peacock theatre, the smaller side stage of the The Abbey, for the final two performances tomorrow or Thursday to catch the performance by Tim Crouch of I, Malvolio. It is nothing short of brilliant.
Connecting intimately with the audience, Tim Crouch engages with you from the outset. His sympathetic portrayal of this outside character from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night brings with it hilarity and also compassion. Coming to the show even with no previous knowledge of the Shakespeare play he is from the audience is cleverly filled in with the role of Malvolio and the absurdity of the plot of the play. Carrying the play alone (it was also written by Crouch), it never flags, and quirks of the audiences are brought into the show, be it a cough in an inappropriate moment or the particular action of the member brought onto the stage to assist. This free structure of course stems from Crouch's overt confidence with his script and the ultimate aims of the show.
The show was a joy and a welcome break from the structured expectations of the standard theatre experience we have come to expect.