Spoken Word

Shakespeare is hard to pull off even when you're not hyperventilating

Rebecca Hall (Rosalind) and Dan Stevens (Orlando).
Nobby Clark
Rebecca Hall (Rosalind) and Dan Stevens (Orlando).

Then there's the majesty of John Gunter's set. The giant, slender trees create a feeling of utter stillness. Yet under Peter Mumford's subtle lighting effects, the entire set undulates, underscoring one of the play's central themes: change. The spaciousness of the design is similarly eloquent -- the actors are dwarfed by the set in the same way that the courtiers and country types who populate Shakespeare's play seem insignificant in comparison to the forces of nature. From the brutal comic physicality of the wrestling scene near the start to the meaningful silences that pass between the pairs of reconciled lovers at the end, what this As You Like It loses in the speechifying it more than makes up for in visual riches.

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