As You Like It (2005): New Victoria Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme
PrAs You Like It (2005)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Juliette Goodman (Rosalind); Simon Markey (Touchstone); Chiké Okonkwo (Orlando); Trevor Sellers (Jacques); Michelle Terry (Celia).
This production ran from 2 - 24 September 2005.
"You enter the auditorium to find the cast ankle-deep in apples, cheerily filling baskets like Bruegel peasants on a scrumping spree. The harvest festival feel of Jess Curtis's design provides a mellow reminder of the play's linguistic fruitfulness: a place where the workaday world is described as 'full of briars', the trees to which Orlando pins his lovesick doggerel are said to bear rotten fruit, and the autumnally-minded Jaques offers the chill observation that 'from hour to hour we ripe and ripe, and so from hour to hour we rot and rot'. Pitman-Wallace works with telling economy of gesture, requiring no more than the scattering of a few leaves to indicate that we have left the puritanical darkness of the court and escaped into Arden....There's the occasional false move - the peasant scenes are thin enough without some self-indulgent business involving cute puppet sheep. And hte punk rock stag-hunting sequence is bizarrely misplaced, despite being presented as Celia's surreal nightmare. In a play full of fruity imagery, Celia's role often seems no more than that of a gooseberry, yet Michelle Terry's free and easy interplay with Juliet Goodman's Rosalind is one of the evening's chief delights." ~ Alfred Hickling, Guardian, 14 September 2005 [NB: No mention of Chiké Okonkwo's Orlando in this review]