"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Sunday, May 24, 2015
AS YOU LIKE IT
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
quirky romantic comedy poses more questions than it answers – hence
the title, perhaps.
McIntyre's production is sumptuously dressed; there is no set – no
forest, either – simply discreet banners to suggest a change of
stage is considerably extended, encouraging the actors to engage with
the audience, and enabling Jaques and Touchstone to lob witty
observations over the heads of the groundlings. They're both
excellent, the philosophers: Daniel Crossley's Touchstone literally
laid back with his cool shades, James Garnon mastering the space as
the melancholy Jaques, giving a cynical Seven Ages with an apple in
his hand. [Though
not, like Michael Bryant back in 79 at the NT, munching it
others seem underpowered – Orlando and the Dukes – but there is
excellent comedy from the two shepherdesses
[Gwyneth Keyworth's Phebe and Sophia Nomvete's Audrey] and from
Patrick Driver as Corin, a very Shepherd's Bush rustic.
Terry as Rosalind and Ellie Piercy as Celia work
together brilliantly as the cousins – Terry, a consummate
Shakespearean for the 21st
century, is “a busy actor”, with unlimited physical energy, but
knows the value of stillness, too - “my father was no traitor”.
They are no mere spectators at the wrestling match, either …
production seems a little long, at over three hours. It starts, like
this season's King John, with a funeral, but includes plenty of fun
along the way: anachronistic props – the tandem for the “two
gypsies on a horse”, Martext's shopping trolley, Ganymede's map of
Arden – and a great song and dance number for the Lover and His
it ends, of course, with a lively jig, and Rosalind's epilogue, in
which she reveals the boy beneath: “If I were a woman ...”