Penny Bristow reviews the production held at Rutland Open Air Theatre.
A warm evening, a good friend, a fabulous meal at the restaurant at Tolethorpe and the Stamford Shakespeare Company’s production of As you Like it – what better way to spend a summer’s evening?
The setting is perfect for this play, set mainly in the Forest of Arden, with its background of birds singing in the trees.
As You Like It, one of Shakespeare’s lighter plays, follows its heroine Rosalind as she flees persecution in her uncle’s court, disguised as a young man, accompanied by her cousin Celia, disguised as a poor lady, and Touchstone the court Jester, to find safety and eventually love in the forest.
Orlando, a young gentleman of the kingdom who has fallen in love with Rosalind at first sight is also forced to flee his home after being persecuted by his older brother, Oliver.
Orlando meets Rosalind dressed as the shepherd Ganymede, who convinces Orlando to pretend he is Rosalind and to continue to woo her until of course at the end Rosalind reveals her true identity as she had planned all along, and they marry.
Stand-out actors were Tom Westall (Orlando), Amanda Plant (Rosalind) and Steve Cunningham (Touchstone).