As You Like It by William Shakespeare.
Directed by Tony Knight. Composer Jay Cameron. Choreographer Annette Sharp. Lakespeare.ACTUBTheatre. Kingston. February 25 2022
Reviewed by Peter Wilkins
As You Like It, and you will love it, is Lakespeare’s latest triumph. I was fortunate enough to catch director Tony Knight’s magnificent production of Shakespeare’s comedy at the newly created ACTHUB Theatre in Kingston. As You Like It has been playing to large open air audiences at various venues around Canberra. Originally Shakespeare’s hugely popular comedy was performed in around 1599 in one of London’s fine residences. The play is ideally suited to the intimate in the round staging at Art Hub.
Jake Fryer-Hornsby as Orlando
Natasha Vickery as Rosalind
|Ylaria Rogers as Celia. Andrew Macmillan as Oliver|
And then appears mischievous Love that doth make fools of us all. Rosalind loves Orlando, but is disguised as a man. Silvius loves Phebe (Katerina Smalley) but Phebe loves Ganymede, poor lass.. Not so foolish but still besotted, Touchstone the banished court fool revels in a sexual love for simple country girl Audrey(Anneke Van Der Velde). And so the plot twists and turns, spinning on Love’s devious trickery. All this is played with sparkling energy by an outstanding ensemble of actors under the direction of a masterful interpreter of Shakespeare’s wit and wisdom. There is wrestling; there is dancing, there is music both Elizabethan and contemporary, played by travelling minstrel and composer Jay Cameron on guitar and sung so sweetly with captivating voice by Smalley. If this be wizardry, magic on!
|Katerina Smalley as Phebe|
Karen Vickery as Jacques. Heidi Silberman s Duchess.
Anneka Van Der Velde as Audrey
Knight’s direction is precise, detailed and knowledgeable bristling with humour and inventiveness.. An excellent cast illustrates his skill as an actor’s director and this is a production that will linger long in the memory as a glowing tribute to the talent in Canberra and the genius of Shakespeare and his enduring gift to all humanity. All’s well and ends well in As You Like It. if very much according to the conventional expectation of its age. Love’s Labour lost in the case of Phebe and Gannymede is Love’s Labour gained for Silvius with Rosalind’s ingenious intervention.
Audiences fortunate enough to have seen this production of As You Like It can count themselves blessed to have been at any of the open air or interior venues when Lakespeare and its brilliant company created a home grown production of Shakespeare’s human comedy to rival the very best there is. Lakespeare is a jewel in Canberra’s theatrical crown and it is time to support a company that proves too well that it is a Canberra cultural treasure.