Weather fails to dampen enthusiam for The Bard

Sunday 3rd July 2022 11:00 am

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As You Like It: The Lord Chamberlain’s Men: Raglan Castle

THE weather may have been more appropriate for The Tempest, but it didn’t prevent several hundred hardy souls from turning out and forming a testudo of brollies from whose shelter they enjoyed an outing of The Bard’s happiest play.

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, taking their name from the company for whom Shakespeare wrote for the majority of his career, are not put off by a bit of rain and successfully swept the audience with them from a soggy Raglan Castle to the perpetual summer of the Forest of Arden for a timeless telling of this tale of gender confusion, sibling rivalry and some profound insights into the human condition.

Separately, Rosalind and her dear friend Celia, the noble Orlando, and the usurped Duke Senior and his courtiers get banished and set up new lives in the Forest of Arden.

Free from the constraints of their former lives, lovers tussle, wits and fools spar, familial bonds are challenged, and everyone wrestles with what it really means to be yourself.

Director, Peter Stickney explains, ‘‘Beginning with several characters being exiled, banished or fleeing, this play is, however, ultimately about rebirth and hope and about using adversity as a catalyst for positive change.

‘‘As we all emerge from a period of uncertainty, Duke Senior’s example of translating the “Stubbornness of fortune” is one that we could all draw something from.’’

The play was delivered with unflagging enthusiasm, delighting the majority who defied the elements and stayed until the end to witness the quadruple wedding and the tying of all the threads.

If all the world truly is a stage, then the immortal lines give us hope that we too might enjoy a happy ending and our hour in the sun.

Bob Rogers

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