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As You Like It - Roleystone Theatre

Reviewed by Jordan D'Arcy


The notion of producing a Shakespeare production is one that strikes fear into the heart of many actors and directors, but not one that Roleystone Theatre shy away from. Director Paul Treasure has ensured that once again, the Shakespeare in the Park season – this year producing As You Like It – has made Shakespeare more accessible to the masses.

Araluen is the perfect place for Shakespeare in the Park. The nature of the venue is that there is no set, and so the actors were totally dependent on themselves and the minimal props they have to establish absolutely everything. Shakespeare often requires actors to be able to physically show a lot more than they would normally have to if they were speaking in modern English so that the audience is able to reliably follow the story. This was done very well – the relationships between characters were comfortably established right from the beginning. Arianne Westcott-King and Abby Jennings, as Rosalind and Celia respectively, created a very believable long-term friendship right from the start of the play. The family relationship between Felix Malcolm and Evan Bialas as brothers, Orlando and Oliver, was also very clear.

Felix Malcolm skillfully anchored the show as Orlando, with an incredibly strong performance. Lily-Anne Burns was also a particular stand-out as Touchstone the clown - her comedic timing was always impeccable. Callum Presbury as Silvius never failed to elicit a giggle from the audience with his exaggerated adoration of Phebe, played by Kerri-Anne Mulley.

There were a couple of songs, mostly sung by Zac Skelton as Amiens the musician, whilst playing the ukelele, accompanied by Kate O’Sullivan as Jacques. Although the words are from the script, the melodies were composed specifically for the show by Fred Johnston-Horstman, which is always a nice homemade touch.

A debut show is always something to commemorate, but 14-year-old Carter Kranz-Little as Audrey should be extremely proud of jumping into a Shakespeare production as his first foray into community theatre.

It was unfortunately a little difficult to tell that the two dukes were distinct characters – someone less familiar with the script and that had not consulted the program may have been a little lost. That being said, Peter “Pear” Carr handled the difficult task of taking on two different but similar characters within the same production well.

Importantly, the entire cast should be commended for their professionalism in dealing with the rogue ducks and children, as that must have been incredibly distracting. Not once did the actors falter, despite screaming from both the ducks and the children on stage beside them.

As You Like It was a wonderful afternoon outing. If you can get to one of the last two shows, it will definitely improve your weekend.

Felix Malcolm as Orlando. Image credit: Andrew Mulley.

Reviewer Note: This production includes the founder of this website (Kate O'Sullivan) and two other reviewers for the site (Paul Treasure and Kelly Salathiel). This review was copy-edited by an external person to ensure it retains the reviewers original intent. Tickets for this review were provided by the theatre company.



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