ARTYFACTS: As You Like It - Globe

Sunday, October 18, 2009

As You Like It - Globe

Spur of the moment decision but well worth it. Touchstone was hilarious with Eddie Izzard inspired facials and asides. Jaques was just as good. His seven ages of man soliloquy was really moving and got spontaneous applause. Just read this......

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

A bit of a rom-com, as are most of his comedies, and the gender switch is very, very odd to modern eyes.

It was great to just sit back in the sun and let the language do its work. The Globe's often criticised for being too 'heritage' in outlook, but I find the performances thrilling. In fact I'd like them to be even more authentic with drinking and audience heckles. The stewards are like puritan police. I even saw them ask some girls to put their notebooks away!

The groundlings are not what they used to be - as two collapsed because of the heat and had to be carried out!


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