Watching Shakespeare under the stars is an essential part of the London summer season. So what did our reviewer make of As You Like It?
What better way to enjoy the British summer than to leave behind the bustle of the city and enter into a world of enchantment? Regent’s Park Open-Air Theatre, exposed to the night sky and warm air, is just a short stroll from London’s Baker Street. You can bring your own picnic and join others on the lawn, dine in the balcony restaurant or just enjoy one of the capital’s longest theatre bars, before filing into a grand auditorium for a performance. It is a tradition that goes back to 1932. This season includes the popular Shakespeare comedy, As You Like It.
Max Webster’s thoroughly modern version is beautifully realised in this great location. The setting sun and lush trees form the perfect backdrop as the magical Forest of Arden. The stage is set on a mesh platform above water, so there is plenty of opportunity for the excellent cast to splash about.
The play follows Rosalind as she flees her uncle’s court with her cousin Celia to find love. In the forest, they meet a host of folk, including the melancholy traveller (known for his All the World’s a Stage speech). There’s lots of wit, banter and cross-dressing to delight the audience.
Laughs, music and singing enliven this production, which zips along before sending the audience out into the dark for fantastical adventures of their own.