Queensland Theatre is set to celebrate the power of theatre and the community it creates with their latest production of William Shakespeare’s classic play As You Like It. The show will open on Thursday, April 20, as the theatre’s third show for the 2023 season.
Directed by renowned Shakespearan director Damien Ryan, who has previously directed Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It promises to take audiences on a captivating journey filled with twists and turns. However, the most significant takeaway from the play will be the sense of community that it aims to build.
Ryan commented on the production, “As You Like It is about exile, being thrust away from everything you thought identifies you, and everything that you have come to rely on. These characters are forcibly exiled out into a freezing, frightening forest and they steadily build a new community of their own. It’s exactly what Australians have been through these last couple of years, exiled into our own homes and removed from our wider communities, but it’s time for us all to come out and reconnect. I cannot wait for that reconnection at the Bille Brown Theatre.”
The play follows the story of Rosalind, who is banished by the villainous Duke Frederick. Forced to disguise herself as a man, she finds refuge in the Forest of Arden, where she meets other exiled fugitives. The forest becomes a place of solace and new beginnings for the characters, filled with melodious songs, questionable poetry, wise-cracking fools, and laughter.
Queensland Theatre has assembled an outstanding cast of ten actors and actresses, who will be taking on a total of 26 parts to bring the production to life. Emma Wright, who has previously appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Orbit, will be playing the lead role of Rosalind, while Colin Smith will take on the role of Duke, Charles, William, and Oliver Martext. Other notable cast members include Andrew Buchanan as Jacques and Adam, and Helen Cassidy as the Duchess and Audrey.
Ryan spoke highly of the play’s celebration of theatre, saying, “What really excites me about As You Like It is that it’s a play that celebrates theatre. It has this enormous love of theatre, a love of storytelling, and a love of actors. It’s an absolute celebration of all the things that the theatre community loves and the perfect opportunity for us all to come together.”
As You Like It will be running from Saturday, April 15 to Saturday, May 13, at the Bille Brown Theatre. With an impressive cast and a heartwarming story that celebrates community, the play promises to be a must-see for theatre enthusiasts. Tickets are available from Queensland Theatre’s website.