Following our latest rather pleasant live transmission from the National Theatre Mia and I together with a Spanish metteur-en-scène Suzi took to Corte Inglês so as to watch As you like it live transmission last Tursday, despite the fact that I don't like to attend these type of venues during the week.
I must confess this theatrical piece by Shakespeare wasn't known to me but its synopsis did catch my attention and drew my interest particularly after having read some of the critics in regards to the scene setting and the contemporary approach.
I was especially fascinated by the interpretation of the character who played Jaques, Paul Chahidi, though I can't exactly define whether it was his tone of voice or his facial expressions. There was something very peculiar about him that in my opinion "envigorated" his character. There were some incredible interpretations by Joe Bannister (in the main role of Orlando), Rosalie Craig (playing Rosalind) and Marc Benton (in the role of Touchstone) as well.
I must nevertheless partly agree with one critic who mentioned the visual concept potentially being a "distractor". I was astounded with the forest of Arden visual concept and particularly the way it was majestically "built up" from the ordinary scenario.
Such was the inventive manner that had me wondering for quite a while how it had been made possible, not to mention other distracting elements like the entrance of cast in Aran sweaters as they brilliantly impersonated sheep or the rather creative and innovative harmonies of the chorus or the interspersed chirping.
Dialogues became secondary at times and so did some performances though the overall feeling was one of ecstatic delight. Definitely one of the best cultural evenings in February.
"A stunning production with the most spectacualr scene change the National has housed in years." - Alice Saville - Time Out
"(...) you come out discussing the visual concept rather than the actors' performances." - Michael Bilington - The Gardian
Photos by Johan Persson