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As You Like It

Published Tuesday 8 May 2012 at 10:17 by Honour Bayes

While the big boys are wowing us with the World Shakespeare Festival and Globe to Globe, it’s great to see smaller venues doing the Bard proud too. Rae McKen’s boisterous production of As You Like It takes a suitably light touch to one of Shakespeare’s frothiest comedies, drawing plenty of giggles from this jam-packed audience.

A scene from As You Like It at the Lion and Unicorn, London

A scene from As You Like It at the Lion and Unicorn, London Photo: Loredana Denicola

What this cast lack in age they more than make up for in youthful energy. If they are unable to fully convince as fathers, it is in the boyish scenes between banished lords or flushed moments of twirling sisterly affection that they excel.

Oliver Mott’s Orlando would make Justin Bieber fans swoon, while Rebecca Loudon marries a handsome girl and bonnie youth together beautifully as Rosalind, although perhaps she throws her arms out in joyous abandon a little too much. Wild At Heart’s Olivia Scott-Taylor makes a lovely Celia, a role where the devil really is in the detail and perfect for an actress straight from the telly.

But it is Fred Gray as the melancholy Jacques who most impresses, bringing some much-needed gravitas and delivering a truly compelling “All the world’s a stage” speech - definitely an actor to watch.

Production information

Lion and Unicorn Theatre, London, April 24-May 19

William Shakespeare
Rae McKen
Custom/Practice and Graffiti Productions
Cast includes:
Oliver Mott, Olivia Scott-Taylor, Rebecca Loudon, Fred Gray, Richard Kiess, Hetty Abbott
Running time:
2hrs 30mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014