As You Like It**** (National Theatre, Olivier)

Posted: December 21, 2015 in Theatre

as you like itIt is a curious feat by the National Theatre to have mounted two productions running concurrently in the Olivier when one of them highlights exactly what is wrong with the other. wonder.land is awash with the most up-to-date computer graphics, but they seem old hat and show us a land in which there is very little wonder. This revival of one of William Shakespeare’s silliest plays is performed in modern dress on a set made up of dreary office furniture and it is pure magic. One coup de théâtre is so eye-poppingly brilliant (I won’t spoil it) that it will surely be talked about for years and it all happens right there on stage. There is magic too of course in Shakespeare’s lyrical passages and in the performances. Rosalie Craig is a charming and very feminine Rosalind and Joe Bannister is a plucky, youthful Orlando. Particularly good also are Patsy Ferran’s schoolgirlish Celia, Mark Benton’s jovial Touchstone and Paul Chahidi’s sardonic Jaques. However, the big star of Polly Findlay’s production is Lizzie Clachan’s forest set, beautifully lit by Jon Clark. This is Shakespeare as you love it.

Performance date: 15 December 2015

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