Student production of As You Like It brings a classic play into the 1950s
Suspenders and high-waisted skirts replaced the long gowns of the 17th century in the George Brown theatre school’s production of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It.
Right from the beginning, the mood was set with 50’s music before the show. They started the play by wheeling out an old-school movie projector and performing a scene demonstrating the power of mob boss Duke Frederick (Jake Runeckles).
The set was simple, with four risers made to look like gardens. These were moved around the stage to indicate different settings.
Another fun addition was live music. During scene changes they played a violin, clarinet, accordion and ukulele; and they incorporated musical numbers during the scenes with the exiled Duke Senior (Charles Jeffels) and his followers.
For those who aren’t familiar with the plot of this Shakespeare classic, Duke Frederick banishes his brother and takes over ruling the city. When his niece Rosalind (Justine Christensen) gets too popular with the townsfolk, he banishes her too to maintain his power. His daughter Celia (Geneviéve DeGraves) then runs away with her cousin to the forest.
Orlando De Boys (Seamus Dillon-Easton) is hated by his sister Olivia De Boys (Lucy Meanwell) and also flees the city with his servant Adam (Patrick Horan) to escape being murdered. To avoid spoilers, let’s just say there are some love triangles, a lot of drama – as with most Shakespearean plays – and wild antics before everything comes to a close.
All the actors in this play put on a fantastic performance and their hard work really showed. Performances from DeGraves, Christensen and Jeffels especially stood out with their spot on portrayals of their characters.
Nearly every As You Like It show was sold out during its Feb. 9 to Feb. 18 run. So, while you missed your chance to see their talent this time, be sure to attend one of the shows in April.