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As You Like It at Shakespeare’s Globe

Published 21 May 2015

What’s it all about?

Love, that many-splendored thing, in all its forms; romantic, patriarchal, sisterly, brotherly, platonic. Have I missed any?

In the Forest of Arden a merry Duke hides, banished by his brother. When his daughter suffers the same unjustified fate, her best friend, the banisher’s own daughter and heir, flees with her, the first dressed as a man to avoid any unwanted attention.

Deceptively suited, she meets a strapping young chap who previously won her heart with his wrestling prowess. She allows him to practice his wooing on the male version of her pretending to be the female version of her that is actually the object of his desires.

Got it? No, thought not. It also has more subplots than Das Boot.

Who’s in it?

The ever-brilliant Michelle Terry makes a marvellous Rosalind (she of the gender-swapping), full of strength and confidence. She’s a Rosalind to take life by whatever dangly bits are available.

Daniel Crossley in his Globe debut – I hope there will be more to come as he is a natural in this unique arena – brings a feel of the 70s circuit comedian to the fool Touchstone’s patter, while current Lord of the Globe James Garnon – if anyone knows how to play to this unique space and audience it is he – brings an enjoyable lustiness to the melancholic Jacques.

What should I look out for?

Johnny Flynn’s wonderful pastoral folk music, key to creating an idyllic Arden, which is played on instruments that themselves are wonders of fascination.

Gary Shelford’s appearances in the show’s final quarter that ought to see him crowned King of the showstealers; firstly as part of a variety/pop group straight out of Arden’s Got Talent and then as a sequined Statue of Liberty impersonator. These descriptions do little justice, I hold my hands up to that; you just have to see it.

What’s being said on Twitter?

@rebeccaicarter Enjoyed a hilarious performance of #AsYouLikeIt @The_Globe last night. Sunglasses and granny bags in Shakespeare – who’d have thunk it!?

@lena_kd Absolutely loved #AsYouLikeIt at @The_Globe what a joy to watch, and such great performances

In a nutshell?

For a fabulous As You Like It, all you need is love…a couple of brilliant fools, a powerful heroine and a smattering of blissfully bemusing touches.

Will I like It?

On a warm summer evening – or a chilly one if you’re sensible enough to pack a jumper – there will be little more blissfully enjoyable this year than being swept up into the idyll of Arden for a few hours.

As You Like It plays at Shakespeare’s Globe until 5 September. You can book tickets through the theatre’s website.

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