Twelfth Night (or What You Will) - 2015
Viola had been travelling with her twin brother Sebastian but a storm wrecks their ship and washes her ashore in Illyria. In Illyria, Duke Orsino is in love with Lady Olivia. But Lady Olivia is in mourning and refuses to accept Orsino’s advances. Far from home and believing her twin brother dead, Viola gains employment in the court of Duke Orsino by calling herself Cesario and disguising herself as a man. Viola/Cesario quickly becomes the Duke’s favourite servant and is trusted to deliver messages of courtship to Lady Olivia. Lady Olivia is instantly attracted to the messenger Cesario (Viola) and falls in love with him. Viola herself has fallen in love with the Duke but of course cannot reveal her true identity to him.
Meanwhile, in Lady Olivia’s household, her drunkard uncle, Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Aguecheek, are busily getting drunk together with Feste, the clown of the house. Sir Toby fancies Maria, Olivia’s maid, while Sir Andrew desires Lady Olivia. Their antics are curtailed by the prudish and puritanical steward of Lady Olivia’s household, Malvolio, who makes every attempt at the earliest opportunity to prevent them from having fun. Maria, with the help of Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Feste, orchestrate a trick to make Malvolio think that Lady Olivia is in love with him. Maria forges a letter supposedly from Olivia telling Malvolio to wear yellow stockings to express his desire for Lady Olivia and to smile constantly at her while refusing to explain himself to anyone. Malvolio finds the letter and becomes convinced Lady Olivia is in love with him. Olivia thinks Malvolio has gone mad and has him imprisoned.
Thus far, the situation: Lady Olivia loves Cesario who is in fact Viola who loves the Duke Orsino who together with Sir Andrew and the now imprisoned Malvolio, love Lady Olivia!
To complicate matters still further, Viola’s brother Sebastian, who was presumed drowned in the storm, arrives in Illyria with his friend Antonio who is an enemy of Duke Orsino. When Sir Andrew, who has witnessed Lady Olivia’s attraction to Cesario/Viola is goaded by Sir Toby into challenging Cesario to a duel, he encounters Sebastian and fights with him instead. Then Lady Olivia mistakes Sebastian for Cesario/Viola and proposes marriage. Sebastian has no idea why this wealthy beautiful woman should want to be his wife nor why people want to fight with him. But seeing Lady Olivia is wealthy and beautiful he accepts her proposal. Antonio is arrested by Orsino’s officers and begs Sebastian for help. But in the confusion, Sebastian finds himself talking to Cesario/Viola who denies knowing Antonio. Antonio is taken away to prison, crying out that Sebastian has betrayed him which gives Viola hope that her brother is still alive.
Maria, Sir Toby and the others, are joyfully teasing Malvolio who is still in prison. Feste pretends to be a priest so he can examine Malvolio and cheekily declares him insane. Having had their fun, Feste allows Malvolio to send a letter to Olivia in which he asks to be released.
On the trail of Sebastian, Viola, still disguised as Cesario, comes to Olivia’s house where she is welcomed by Olivia as her new husband – thinking him to be Sebastian whom she has just married. Duke Orsino is furious to discover that Olivia has married but on the appearance of the real Sebastian all is revealed. Everyone sees that Sebastian and Viola are twins. Orsino, seeing Cesario/Viola is in fact a woman, asks her to marry him. Antonio is released from prison. Meantime, Sir Toby has finally pledged his commitment to Maria who delightfully accepts. Someone finally remembers Malvolio who is still locked away. Maria, Sir Toby and the others reveal their trick and the humiliated Malvolio, still wearing his yellow stockings, storms off. Everyone enjoys a happy celebration.