Stephen Fry is to return to stage drama 17 years after he famously walked out of a West End production and fled the country.
The broadcaster has been cast in a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at the Globe Theatre later this year.
He will play Malvolio opposite Mark Rylance, who will play Olivia, when the play opens for a three-week run on September 22.
Stephen abruptly left the West End run of Cell Mates – in which he was appearing opposite Rik Mayall – in 1995 and headed to Belgium. He has since explained the departure on bipolar disorder.
He has gone on to make some live stage appearances, including one-man spoken shows and hosting numerous events such as Sunday’s BAFTAs, but has not done any lengthy theatre runs.
Speaking of the time he went AWOL, he has said: “That was play fright, not stage fright, it’s a very different thing.”
Stephen, also host of BBC panel show QI, has been seen in many screen dramas over the years, including his Golden Globe-nominated performance in Wilde.
He will soon be seen in BBC Dickensian comedy The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff, following a Christmas special.