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As You Like It
by William Shakespeare

Dates 21, 22 and 23 January 1999 Tickets:
Venue: Chelsea Theatre, Worlds End Place, Kings Road, London SW10
Bookings:

CAST

Duke Senior - Daryl Hutchings
Jaques - Humphrey Waterhouse
Amiens - Terry Samaras
Lord - Paul Dore
Lady - Jean Challendar
Duke Frederick - Daryl Hutchings
Rosalind - Isobel Akenhead
Celia - Tamsin Irwin
Le Beau - Adam Baxter
Charles - Phil Cox
Touchstone - Andy Hamilton
Attendants - Paul Dore and Jean Challendar
Oliver - Michael Hubbard
Orlando - Nick Aikens
Adam - Ian Challendar
Corin - Danny Davis
Silvius - Matt Senior
Phebe - Nikki Williams
Audrey - Carmen Betteridge
Sir Oliver Martext - Ian Challendar
William - Tim Goble
Hymen - Elf Buck
Dancers - Elf Buck and Sam Taylor

CREW

Directed by Rob Buck
Produced by Phil Matcham
Stage Managed by Emma Stratton, Anna Dwyer and Jean Challendar

Lighting by John Stickland and Phil Herrey
Sound by Paul Hucker
Designed by Rob Buck

Costumes by Anna Dwyer and Emma Stratton
Props by Jo Ayers
Set Painting by Bianca Rowan

Original Music by Terry Samaras and Mark O'Grady
Choreography by Sam Taylor and Elf Buck
Photography by Paul Hucker

PRODUCTION NOTES

Shakespeare wrote As You Like It almost exactly 400 years ago and used as his source the prose romance Rosalynde, written by Thomas Lodge in 1590.

Since its earliest performances the play has always been a great favourie with audiences - it contains some of Shakespeare's best known characters and is also one of his most quoted works.

Contemporary productions are traditionally set in a pseudo-tudor period with much of the action taking place in the Arcadian paradise of the Forest of Arden (Ardennes in Belgium, not Arden in Warwickshire). Notable exceptions are a Dali designed surrealist production in Rome in 1950, a minimalist production in 1962 at the Aldwych, and an all male modern dress production in 1967 in which Ronald Pickup played Rosalind.

The production of the play at Chelsea is staged in a modern setting, specifically the early 1980s. This was a period of economic boom, of diverse youth cults, of increasing environmental awareness when the pastoral utopias of Shakespeare's day found their parallels in campaigns to protect the countryside from housing, industrial and road developments.

In our production, the Duke's court translates to an inner city 'manor', and Duke Frederick himself to an urban tycoon. The Forest of Arden has become an outer suburb of the metropolis (ie. a distant outpost at the eastern end of the Central Line) where the countryside comes face to face with the pressures of urban expansion and the 'forest dwellers' of the play are 'new age greenies' rather than shepherds.

The script has been edited to remove material which would be inappropriate to a modern setting but no additions have been made to Shakespeare's written dialogue. Traditionalists who know the play may be surprised by some of the changes we have made to the original, such as the omission of the third son of Sir Rowland, or replacing the famous hunting scene (IV, ii) with a dance interlude. Such changes are in keeping with out interpretation of the play (the third son is superfluous to the plot, and the hunting scene was merely inserted by Shakespeare to represent a passage of time between scenes one and three.

We have also made significant changes to the musical content. There are more songs in As You Like It than any of Shakespeare's other works and music is an important part of the play's atmosphere, but it would be wrong to merely insert Elizabethan songs into a modrn setting. Therefore modern 'street' versions of the songs have been used with rescripted lyrics which retain the flavour of Shakespeare's originals. In addition, snatches of popular music from the early 1980s have been used to link scenes.

We hope that you enjoy the play and find it a refreshing and entertaining experience.

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