Seventeen years after he suddenly left a West End production following a critical review, actor Stephen Fry is returning to the London stage today.

Fry will play Malvolio in Mark Rylance's revival of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

The production will run for three weeks - until October 14 - at Shakespeare's Globe in London before transferring to the West End.

Fry has been communicating with his almost five million Twitter followers about playing Malvoli for the past seven months.

On Monday, he said he would be at the theatre from 9.30am to 10.30pm the next day. "Right. Bed," he wrote. "The big buildup to opening of Twelfth Night begins. Ner-night all."

He was starring with Rik Mayall in Simon Gray's Cell Mates, when he disappeared to Belgium. His website subsequently declared that he was "contemplating suicide" after a negative review in the Financial Times.

Fry firstly explained that he had experienced stage fright, but later on disclosed that he suffered from bipolar disorder. The production closed, and Gray later published an account of the whole affair in a book entitled, Fat Chance.

According to his tweets, Fry's return to the theatre is not necessarily a cake walk. Last Friday, the actor posted, was the first full run of the play: "scary times".