Northern Broadsides and New Vic Theatre have combined their talents to present a co-production of Shakespeare’s most musical pastoral comedy, As you like it.
Following their removal from court, Rosalind and her loving cousin, Celia, are not discouraged from pursuing a romantic adventure in the Forest of Arden. The story is noted for playing with the conventions of gender and identity through the cross-dressing protagonist. The play celebrates a plethora of romantic engagements found in a substitute world, creating an underlying tone of forest versus court. The free space away from the commitments and appropriacy of court leaves the characters seeking the thing that this play advertises one should treasure most: love.
The play features more songs than any other Shakespeare play, including ‘Under the Greenwood tree’, ‘Blow, blow, thou winter wind’, and ‘What shall he have that killed the deer’. The irregularity of the musical numbers tends to build on the whimsicality of As you like it, helping to transport the audience in the narrative’s world – like how the characters find themselves somewhere unknown.
We hope the all-Northern cast will give an interesting edge to the delivery of some of Shakespeare’s most beloved characters and appreciated quotes. All the world’s a stage, and we cannot wait to be absorbed into the drama and relationships of this dreamy play within the seats of Manchester’s own Lowry Theatre.
As You Like It plays at the Lowry’s Quays Theatre from 8th until 12th March, before continuing its UK tour throughout 2022.
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