Heading back to the Globe for what seems like the last summery evening of Shakespeare this year left me slightly underwhelmed and fidgety.
As You Like It directed by Ellen Mcdougall runs with a gender fluid rendition, flouncy costumes filled with frill and colour with flicks of modern song. The classic has been done countless times in the past few years however maybe we have a hit a wall with what else can be done.
The cast enter the stage with the unfortunate news that one cast member has fallen ill and an actor will be stepping in with script. I’m devastated to have not caught the name as this wonderful actor breathed a real freshness into the atmosphere that felt drier when they exited. The story itself is relatively easy to grasp as a couple are in love however Rosalind being banished disguises as a gentleman. In this attire, she still pursues her love for Orlando.
In the meantime, I’m not quite sure what’s going on. The locations were not incredibly clear, starting in our kingdom to then dip in and out of the ‘banished area’ which I assume was a forest from the sudden flurry of the musicians dressed as mushrooms and butterflies. This was accompanied by a song that took some real motor to give it that oomph behind it – a few times it became quite repetitive in not really knowing why and what it was bringing to the scene.
The real joy however was the gorgeous relationship between Rosalind and Celia (Nina Bowers and Macy-Jacob Seelochan) as they moved together as one, if one fell the other would catch and I believed every second of their performance. The show felt imbalanced by how outstanding their scenes were to then back to feeling confused and under energised by the latter moments.
The design was very pretty, words balancing on a string and changing every couple of scenes brought some energy into the pits but again I failed to match it up with what was happening in the scenes. A disappointing way to end the summer season.
Reviewer: Alice Rose
Reviewed: 2nd September 2023
North West End UK Rating: