Wednesday 16th to Sunday 27th July 2008
Residence Garden, York Minster
Charles Hutchinson in the The Press wrote:
Irish heavyweight champion George Bernard Shaw dismissed As You Like It as merely a crowd-pleaser.
Well, there are worse crimes for a play, and frankly, if you are playing outdoors for just shy of a fortnight this inclement summer, you need all the crowd-pleasing incentives to have the masses packing up their picnics, chairs and winter layers.
Like the British holidaymaker on home soil, York Shakespeare Project’s cast is determined to have a good time whatever the weather: dressing up for summer, playing energetic games at half time, even singing The Bee Gees’ How Deep Is Your Love with mischievous glee as Ben Sawyer’s clown, Touchstone, and Krystal Evans’s over-excitable country chav, Audrey, get extremely jiggy, hitting even higher notes in a tent.
In his frisky production, Roger Calvert fuses two of the most distinctive British cinema styles, opening with Lock, Stock/Get Carter gangster films for the court henchmen of Lee Maloney’s gangland godfather Duke Frederick, who lurk behind dark shades and twirl and unfurl black umbrellas with the menace of A Clockwork Orange, rather than the joy of Gene Kelly singin’ in the rain. In the country, he evokes Carry On capers, especially Carry On Camping, and indeed he embraces both camp sites and camp sights to rival Mamma Mia!.
Truly, all the world is a stage in Calvert’s scheming world. When unoccupied, chorus members graze on picnic pleasures beneath a tree on a far-off hillock as the play progresses rather more feverishly in front of them. Meanwhile, when Lara Pattison’s outstanding, impish Rosalind leaves behind the usurping Duke Frederick’s intimidating court to disguise herself as a boy in the Forest of Arden, she enjoys the chance to go wild in the country. Calvert has her set up camp on constant view, flicking through magazines and books with Olivia Heyworth’s Celia, the duke’s voluptuous daughter, and Sawyer’s Touchstone in his Hawaiian shirt.
Toby Gordon’s questing Orlando and Samuel Valentine’s melancholic, seemingly Quentin Crisp-inspired Jaques counter the comic restlessness, best personified Jenny Carr’s Phebe and Alistair Carr’s Silvius, as the country air sends As you Like It joyously over the top.
|Duke Senior||Brian Sharp|
|Duke Frederick||Lee Maloney|
|Charles||Raymond Baggaley/Mike Foster|
|Le Beau||Jane Atkinson|
|Dame Olivia Martext||Jane Collis|
|Chorus, Lords and Pages||Julia Atkinson, Georgina Innes-Myers,Fergus McGlynn, Lora Moss, Abi Pilot, Katy Sharp|
|Assistant Director||Cecily Boys|
|Original Music by||Fergus McGlynn|
|Stage Manager||Paul Shepherd|
|Assistant Stage Management/Lighting||Dominic Houlison, BryonyGroves|
|Production Co-ordinator/Props||Jeremy Muldowney|
|Fight Arranger||Lee Maloney|
|Images||John Sharpe, Roger Pattison, Cecily Boys|
|Scenery||Jeremy Muldowney, Cecily Boys, Elaine Innes|
|Front of House||Ged Murray, Anna Sharp, Dermot Hill, Jamie Searle, Richard Easterbrook, Cath Doman Mark France, Celia Tuvo, Matt Simpson, Anne Cooper, Mary Murray, Lisa Valentine, Bob Groves, Margaret Hillier, Jennifer Aitken, Janet Looker, Tricia Castle, Helen Wilson, Claire Chappell, Beryl Nairn|