As You Like It?
A new adaptation by Kerry Fitzgerald presented by Purple Ostrich Productions at Pleasance Theatre, Islington
If we walk not in the trodden paths our very petticoats will catch them.
May 2015. Two young women flee an increasingly oppressive, ordered society for the Forest of Arden; a world where the clocks have been stopped, and words dance on tree tops.
Drawing upon studies of Shakespeare’s original text, this exciting new adaptation of As You Like It is presented with an LGBTQ focus and puts Celia and Rosalind’s romantic relationship centre stage for the first time. Celia abandons her inheritance and her family to live, unaided, in Arden with the women she professes to love. As Rosalind’s relationship with Orlando develops, Celia gradually loses her gumption and adopts the role of a silent observer. Changes to Shakespeare’s text in Victorian editions of the play have ultimately led us to ignore what could potentially be one of the most intense relationships in Shakespeare’s repertoire.
As You Like It? blends Shakespeare’s original text with new devised scenes and performance research to create a multi-disciplinary production that gives feminine love room to breathe. Celia and Rosalind work in The Court pub, an establishment owned by the difficult Duke Frederick and frequented by the lonesome alcoholic Touchstone. Another bar brawl and the pair are off, exchanging the Court for Arden. Upon entering the forest, they find a world made entirely of stories and words, where verses hang on every tree.
Starring a vibrant cast of recent Royal Central School of Speech and Drama graduates, directed by Roxy Cook and adapted by Kerry Fitzgerald, this brand new production will challenge traditional interpretations of one of Shakespeare’s greatest pairings, making As You Like It more relevant to the diverse society we live in today.
Purple Ostrich Productions is a new theatre company founded by Royal Central School of Speech and Drama graduates and run by Kerry Fitzgerald and Lise Aagaard Knudsen. The company was set up to tell the stories of marginalised characters in classic texts, and represent the diversity of modern Britain onstage. With the support of Stonewall, Purple Ostrich Productions will be running workshops with local LGBTQ youth groups on depictions of the queer community in Shakespeare’s texts.