As You Like It

August 5, 2010

The story-telling qualities of the production at the Old Vic (The Bridge Project) bring the play’s interwoven themes splendidly to life. I was stuck how the layering of the characters’ aspirations in love and for finding a place where  life may be sustained beyond ambition and entitlement were placed so vividly and wittily. The realisation of the four couples’ coming together and the reinstatement of the good Duke’s status were elegantly crafted. Rosalind’s reveal, the lovers’ union, the transformation of the Duke’s circumstance (of which we learn as a final turn of events when Orlando’s and Oliver’s brother appears to tell of the bad Duke’s change of heart) and ‘melancholy’ Jaques’s retreat to the refuge of his cave, accepting life’s altered circumstance  in enigmatic acquiescence, all coalesce with charm and picturesque ease.

Rosalind’s final framed-bow in silhouette up-stage, after ‘conjuring’ women and men who love to find value in the play, is a last and delectable note on which to finish.

This was the first time I’ve seen As You Like It and my enjoyment of the play’s dynamic shifts of energy, poetic exposition and ‘conjuring’ of universal wisdom was particularly enhanced by the skilled-craft and well-judged restraint achieved by members of the ensemble.

A delightful outing!

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