As You Like It (2004): Northcott Theatre, Exeter, Rougemont Gardens
PrAs You Like It (2004)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Philip Cheadle (Orlando); Gordon Cooper (Touchstone); David Gwillim (Jaques); Gemma Larke (Rosalind); Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Celia).
This production ran from 14 July - 14 August 2004.
"Rougemont Gardens provides an apt setting for this excellent open air production even Exeter's cathedral bells chimed in the right place in the text and placed the Forest of Arden easily at the heart of the play. Not only does the Forest provide the setting, but it gives the characters a place away from the real world of politics to find their true selves and destiny....The women in the production are delightfully contrasted, but it is a rarity to find a Celia, Gugu Mbatha-Raw in her first professional role, who outshines Rosalind. Here a delightful comedy star in the making, with her infectious grin and huge eyes reacting to her cousin's increasingly daring behaviour, turning a usually dull supporting role into a star turn....The Regency costumes sit well in the setting, with velvet and embroidery in the court scenes and brown leather jerkins, boots and Bo-peep bonnets in Arden. Guitar and concertina provide the onstage music and the play ends in a simple dance, with the cast exiting into the gathering gloom of the wood, leaving Orlando tugging at Rosalind's hand as she delivers the epilogue." ~ Hazel Brown, "Superb sylvan space adds to charm of excellent production", reviewsgate.com, 14 July 2004