Saturday, 29 June 2013

Midsummer England

As You Like It. Photo by Keith Pattison

It’s the Glastonbury Festival this weekend but we went to a more cultural version of this midsummer celebration of tribal identity – the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of As You Like It in Stratford-on-Avon. Every thing the RSC do is amazing, and this was quite quite wonderful. Drawing on Shakespeare’s deep affinity with the folk customs and seasonal rhythms of the forest of Arden – the area around Stratford – the RSC dreamed up a modernised, Glastonbury-like, recreation of the earth celebrations of pagan England – a world of horned men, primal dancing, cross-dressing and fertility rites, exquisite music by Laura Marling and the kind of audience connection that only fantastically well-done live theatre can provide. An energetic celebration of the spirit of midsummer.
Alex Waldmann as Orlando and Rosie Hilal as Audrey in As You Like It. Photo by Keith Pattison
Coming out into the dark, swans float asleep on the River Avon; the trees of Warwickshire are in full sail, like ships on an inland sea; a deer crosses the road as we drive home; the year is at its height. Here's the trailer and some of Laura Marling's music for the play.

No comments:

Post a Comment