As You Like It

Date 18th April 2012
Society Stevenage Lytton Players
Venue The Sishes, Stevenage
Type of Production Play
Director David Slade


Author: Vicki Avery

Many societies shy away from performing a play written by William Shakespeare but not The Lytton. Give them a challenge and they rise to the fore. This was a very colourful, tuneful and enjoyable production giving some members of the society the opportunity to get their teeth into some serious word learning. The delivery was crisp and to the point for the most part and direction was sound and the overall movements and positioning worked well. The costumes were appropriate and added to the understanding of the piece. In general projection was good and the enthusiasm of the players shone through. It was particularly encouraging to see members of the cast giving support to each other in a very low key way. This did not in any way disrupt the action which was generally well paced, once the rhythm had been set out in the first act. A significant achievement. There were some strong performances and although part of me is reluctant to single out individuals in what was clearly an impressive team effort, their contribution should have some recognition. Sophie Ashby as Rosalind delivered her lines with an understanding and awareness that evoked complete conviction and the dialogue between both her and Gemma Davies as Celia was totally convincing throughout. Poppy Byrne as Phoebe showed good facial expression and projection was clear and the musical interludes were well chosen and most fitting for the piece. My only criticism is that some players needed to relax a little more into their characters. It is so easy to assume that because it is Shakespeare one has to “perform” and stand straight. Not so, relax into the character and savour every line as though you delivered it everyday.

Thank you for your hospitality I had a most enjoyable evening.