I must disagree with the positive comments this has received. TWELFTH NIGHT is my favorite of Shakespeare's comedies, and when you see that Alec Guiness, Ralph Richardson, and Joan Plowright are in it, you expect the best. Not so. I taped it when it was broadcast, and still have it. Joan is too old for Viola, and is LUDICROUS as Sebastian. Her male impersonation doesn't work at all. It's the worst thing I've ever seen this normally-great actress do. I was surprised that Ralph Richardson wasn't very funny as Sir Toby, as it seemed a good role for him, and I've seen him be very funny in other roles. Not here. Guiness is okay as Malvolio, but I've seen the role done better, once superbly on stage by THE THING'S Robert Cornithwaite. Worst of all is the horrible Tommy Steele, who is UNBEARABLE as Feste, giving good evidence of why his overpraised career was so short.
There are much better TWELFTH NIGHTs out there to see. Hunt up the recent televised version with Helen Hunt and Paul Rudd. It was excellent! This one is a disappointment that, given the cast, has no excuse.
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