Thursday, April 18, 2019

'As You Like It' by William Shakespeare

18 April 2019

I first saw ‘As You Like It’ on our first visit to the old Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1992 when it was Samantha Bond as Rosalind who took the stage alone at the end of the play to say “It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue”. I’ve seen it many times since and really enjoyed Kimberley Sykes’ new Royal Shakespeare Company production which we saw this Wednesday at the Odeon in Milton Keynes, broadcast live from the new Royal Shakespeare Theatre. ‘As You Like It’ has some great comic scenes and is always fun, though there are parts of the play that often seem to drag. But it is a rare Shakespeare play to have such a dominant female lead and Lucy Phelps was fantastic as Rosalind. Her manic nervous energy in the Ganymede scenes was brilliantly done with an amazing rapid fire delivery of the lines. Sophie Stanton, who is wonderful in the current RSC production of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ (reviewed here in March 2019), played a female Jacques with a twinkle and a smirk that relieved the melancholy. David Ajao showed loveable vulnerability as a childlike Orlando, Sophie Khan Levy was a very funny Celia and Emily Johnstone gave a great comic turn as Le Beau. I have fond memories of a 1996 production of ‘As You Like It’ at Nottingham Playhouse in which Shaun Prendergast played Touchstone (the Fool) as Eric Morecambe – so it was fascinating this week to see Sandy Grierson’s Touchstone clearly channelling Billy Connolly.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home