Twelfth Night

Tuesday 23 June – Saturday 4 July 2020

POSTPONED UNTIL 2021

As You Like

2004
The George
Directed by Mo Pearce

Pride and Prejudice, Lord of the Rings, and Bridget Jones Diary are just three of the many well known stories successfully dramatised for television and cinema. Adaptations from both popular and classic literature have proved to be a good idea but not a new one. Greek playwrights dramatised the stories and legends of heroes. Medieval mystery plays were based OIT stories from the Bible. Shakespeare and his contemporaries also drew their inspiration from history, myth, and popular contemporary tales.

As You Like It is thought to have been inspired by the popular prose romance Rosalynde, written in 1590 by Thomas Lodge and it may also have been influenced by other contemporary pastoral tales and poems in circulation. The play was probably first performed in 1599 to mark the opening of the newly built Globe Theatre in Southwark, on the south bank of the Thames.

At the heart of the play are themes we are still exploring today. The TV. series The Good Life followed the fortunes of neighbours with very different life styles. The two couples’ diverse aims and ambitions, simple on the one hand and sophisticated on the other; both entertained us and gave us food for thought. Underneath the humour was a challenge to our notions of what really constitutes the “good life”. In As You Like It we are invited to consider the different atmospheres of court and country. Both the serious and humorous exchanges between court and country characters in the play present us with arguments for and against the advantages and disadvantages of both life styles but leave us to draw our own conclusions.

The banished courtiers are reported to be living in the forest like “Robin Hood of old England”, but the play is a romance and this description is romantic view of life in the great outdoors which, in all probability, was a cold, hungry and very uncomfortable experience. Shakespeare set his play in France, but which forest did he really have in mind, Arden or Ardennes? In earlier times The Forest of Arden in Warwickshire may well have been home to outlaws, but our ideas of an idyllic, free and easy existence close to nature probably owes more to Hollywood than history. Certainly at the end of the play when the opportunity to leave the “idyllic” Forest of Arden presents itself, the majority of carefree courtiers don’t appear to have too many second thoughts about leaving the countryside and returning to civilisation.

By the time Shakespeare wrote As You Like It, the English forests were beginning to disappear as commons and woodland were gradually being enclosed by rich and powerful landowners. Nevertheless forests were always special locations for Shakespeare, places of mystery, magic and mayhem. They feature not only in As You Like It, but in the fun and fantasy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Merry Wives of Windsor and Two Gentlemen of Verona; whilst in Macbeth and Titus Andronicus, they prove to be places of darkness and danger.

But As You Like It is a romantic comedy, and the play ends with marriage celebrations uniting all the lovers in a traditional happy ending: “Love Actually”, Elizabethan style




Cast

ORLANDO

Robin Owen

ADAM. the servant

Derrick Scothern

OLIVER

Guy Marshall

DENNIS, the groom

Richard Morley

CHARLES, the wrestler

Shane McGarvey

DUKE FREDERICK'S COURT

CELIA, the Duke's daughter

Kate Batters

ROSALIND, her cousin

Vicki Bays

TOUCHSTONE, the court jester

Phil Cox

MADAME LE BEAU, courtier

Carolyn Noble

DUKE FREDERICK

Stuart Vince

LORD MOUNTJOY

Richard Morley

PAGES

HENRI

Henry Martin

MARIUS

James Mathews

MAIDS

MARIE ESTELLE

Amy Dunk

MARIE FRANCE

Stephanie Dickenson

MARIE ELISE

Bronte Becketi

MARIE CLAUDE, flautist

Katie

IN THE FOREST OF ARDEN

THE BANISHED DUCHESS

Maggie Caspall

AMIENS

Stuart Loakes

JAQUES

John Hunter

CORIN, a shepherd

Mark Hebert

SYLVIUS, a shepherd

Ray Livermore

PHEVE, a shepheress

Michala Gardiner

AUDREY, a goatherd

Michelle Grobbelar

SIR OLIVER MARTEXT, a priest

Shane McGarvey

WILLIAM, a yokel

Shane McGarvey

Creative Team

Director

Mo Pearce

Stage Manager

Kevin Connor

Scenic Designer

Colin Chalk

Choreographer

Pam Williams

Fight Manager

Dave Higgins

Wardrobe Mistress

Jo Fradley

Costume Team

Mo Pearce
Suzanne Connor

Poster Design

Simon Webb

Stage Construction

Kirton Construction

Set Construction & Backstage

Kevin Connor
Graham Pearce
Paul Wing
Ken McCollin
Beth Connor
Jayne Ellis
Debs Wing
Sarah Vincelli
Suzanne Connor
Amy Monk

Technical Adviser to the production

Chris Glenton

Properties

Sarah Boon
Jacqui Spencer
Michelle Warr
Diane Dickenson

Lighting Team

Mel Pugsley
Maggie Redgrave
Daniel Cousins
Roger Blackmore
Kieran Reed
Michael Dawson

Sound Team

Beth Connor
Sarah Vincelli
Ken McCollin

Make Up Team

Diana Mackay
Sue Painter

Prompt

Jacqui Spencer

Front of House & Sales

Trish James
Michael Cook & Team

Box Office

Cheryl Cook & Team