venetia_sassy: (SH // Gladstone oh no! dead dog?)
I spent a magical evening, attending a live, outdoor performance of As You Like It. It was actually the first live performance of Shakespeare I've ever seen. And it was fabulous.

The whole play was totally bonkers. In a good way! And hilarious. The actors seemed to be enjoying themselves thoroughly. It was a perfect night for it. It had been quite hot during the day but it cooled down quickly, the sky was clear and there was just the slightest hint of breeze.

I knew almost nothing about the play except that it was a comedy involving a crossdressing girl and her love interest.

I did not know it involved half-naked males wrestling for an audience. Hmm.

(Here, have some pictures. Not just of half-naked guys. Check out the settings and costumes, they were terrific.)

I liked all the actors and I seriously admire their stamina. It was a very physical performance - people were wrestling and running around and climbing trees and dancing and fighting, with dialogue! It was also a promenade performance, starting in an old shearing shed which served as a stable, wrestling ground and classroom. Then we moved to the courtyard of old farmhouse which served as the court, then to the grass in front of some beautiful old fig trees. This was the 'Forest of Arden' and it was wonderful (except when large leaves dropped into my lap, making me jump out my skin.) As we were walking from the shearing shed, we saw flying foxes overhead and realised they were eating fruit from the fig trees. We could hear them chattering in the 'Forest' leading to an amusing moment when Jaques was saying something about laughter or mocking (can't remember exactly) and there was a sudden loud outburst from a number of the flying foxes. Jaques turned to look up at them then looked back, saying 'That's what I'm talkin' about!'

I particularly enjoyed the performances of Jaques and Touchstone (who was making balloon animals for the kids in the audience during interval) but really, everyone was fantastic. It was a magical evening and I would love to see the troupe perform again. They're hoping to make this festival an annual event. Theyre also performing in the Blue Mountains after this and we're hoping to go up and stay with a friend there soon ... but it turns out she won't be there during the run. Ah well.

Seriously, hilarious play, wonderful performance, magical evening.


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Venetia

December 2016

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