Four weddings and a forest: austerity As You Like It

Sep 10, 2012

The Globe's stripped down Shakespeare is as 'mellow as an Indian summer evening'

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What you need to know
The Globe theatre's revival of Shakespeare's pastoral romantic comedy As You Like It, directed by James Dacre, is ending its British and European tour with a short season in London.  
The plot centres on Rosalind, the daughter of a banished duke, who falls in love with Orlando and is also expelled from court by her uncle. Disguised as a boy she seeks out her father in the Forest of Arden, and meets Orlando again.
Deirdre Mullins stars as Rosalind and Will Featherstone plays Orlando. Beth Park plays Rosalind's cousin Celia. Runs until 16 September.
What the critics like
This is a cracking, sparky, romantic rendition of the great play, says Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail. It's an austerity-era production, performed with just eight actors (and a wooden cut-out). But thanks to ingenious touches and two charming main lovers, this Shakespeare is "as mellow as an Indian summer evening".
James Dacre's joyously spirited touring production is stripped-down to the exigencies of a touring show, says Fiona Mountford in the Evening Standard. But it delivers on its promise to give us "four marriages, six senses and seven ages".
Mullins and Park have charming chemistry as the slapstick duo of Rosalind and Celia, says Emily Jupp in The Independent, suggesting female love is "the deepest and most enduring, and also the most fun".
What they don't like
The limited number of actors means there's not a strong sense of the Duke's court in exile in the Forest of Arden, says Fiona Mountford in Standard. "But it's the only time we notice any lack."

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