Swap is successful as actors shine through with reversed roles
TAKING a title and main themes of usurped rulers, wrestling champions, banishment and love from Thomas Lodge’s Rosalynde, Shakespare made Lodge’s sonnets pieces of mockery.
He even adapted names – Rosalynde to Rosalind– in his version of the tale.
Shakespeare’s characters are easy to comprehend because they follow their desires, do something because they want to and how love can make people do some pretty hazardous and reckless things with the tangled webs of disguise and romance reworked.
Anthony Young certainly added more than a touch of humour to the production not just as the court jester Touchstone, but also as Pheobe the besotted shepherdess.
In true form Rob Keeves (Jaques) gave just the right amount of melancholy to contrast with his role of Charles (wrestler to Duchess Frederique), and designed the simple, but effective set.
Emmeline Braefield (Celia) was delightful and was an effective foil for Pippa Meekings, who gave an outstanding performance of Rosalind. Excellent too were Richard Lessen (Orlando & Silvius - the not quite all there shepherd) and Joseph Burke (Oliver & Corin).
Once underway, and the benefits of a member of the audience having a watch, and which gave me a little chuckle when Jaques delivered his lines re a dial; Jonathan Legg has directed an enjoyable production of this play and interestingly gender swapped Dukes for Duchesses, both well played by Helen Fullerton.
As You Like It