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Globe responds to Twelfth Night reviews controversy

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Shakespeare's Globe has responded to the recent controversy surrounding advance reviews of its current production of Twelfth Night, which stars Stephen Fry as Malvolio and former artistic director Mark Rylance as Olivia.

The production, which opened on Saturday (22 September 2012), runs at the Globe until 14 October before transferring to the West End's Apollo Theatre.

The Globe and producer Sonia Friedman have scheduled press performances at the Apollo for 17 November (following previews from 2 November), though two major newspapers have recently broken the embargo and reviewed it at the Globe.

The Daily Telegraph ran a review of the production following the first performance, while The Times followed suit by publishing its own review today. Both awarded five stars.

In a joint statement Globe artistic director Dominic Dromgoole and producer Sonia Friedman, who is bringing the productions to the West End, said: "When we announced the project in February, we made it clear that we would not be holding a press night at the Globe, but that it would wait until it moved to the Apollo. This occasioned little or no comment at the time or since, until this weekend.

"The reasoning for this is simple, that we wanted the reviews to reflect the show in the environment where most people would see it. We are doing only 18 shows at the Globe, and there will be 70 at the Apollo. Since four fifths of those who see it will not see it at the Globe, it seems to make sense that the reviews are a response to its principal home."

"This was a decision arrived at before casting started, and jointly agreed by the producers. We have stayed consistent to this policy since, and any press reviews on the show have not been sanctioned by us."

Twelfth Night has attracted increased interest due to the casting of Fry, who makes his first appearance on a London stage since walking out of a run of Simon Gray's Cell Mates in 1995.

Richard III and Twelfth Night recently extended their booking period at the Apollo by a week, to 10 February 2013.


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