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As You Like it

"Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold"

25th, 26th, 27th of July at 7.30 pm.

27th of July at 2.30 pm.

Tyler Hill House

Tickets from £7.50

28th of July at 2.30 pm.

Folkestone

Tickets from £7.50

Directed by Sarah Lockyear

 

The play:
'As You Like It' has, at its centre, a love story of two young people who find themselves far from home but in a place where their relationship can develop and flourish, despite the theatrical complication of disguise. The play also explores the contrast, not only between court and country, but between those who have to endure the elements to make a simple rural living and those for whom the forest is a welcome but temporary break from their urban lives. Shakespeare places his characters in a pastoral setting which calls into question what is affected or false-- Orlando's ludicrous poems, even Touchstone's witty banter-- and values honesty and integrity. The forest can have a transformative effect, and many of the newcomers are changed for the better there. But being at one with nature is easier if you can buy a cottage and when you know there is comfort back home when you return.

 

I have chosen to set the play in the 1960s, a time when hippy culture embraced the natural world as a means of escape: flower power in the face of political turmoil. Tune in, turn on, drop out. A middle class fantasy? Maybe one that persists in the crowds who drive down from London for a weekend to wear their designer wellies at Glastonbury.

 

The play is full of music, so I am including plenty of 60s songs, and it has some famous and memorable lines, including the Seven Ages speech by Jacques. It's difficult to choose a favourite quotation, and a runner up has to be Touchstone's glum observation on reaching the countryside: 'Ay, now I am in Arden; the more fool I; when I was at home, I was in a better place'. But it is Duke Senior who explains most memorably what pastoral retreat can mean: 'And this our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything’.

The director:
I look forward to directing 'As You Like It' in the glorious garden setting at Tyler Hill which will, I hope, provide a delightful pastoral experience for both cast and audience. It is a far cry from the play I directed for the Festival last year: Middleton's harrowing tragedy 'The Changeling'. I have been involved in a good number of productions now, both as director and as actor, and the Festival is without doubt the highlight of my year. It is such a pleasure working with the Committee and alongside people of all ages and experience--some old hands, others brand new to CSF--who love making Shakespeare's plays come to life. Their camaraderie and dedication and sense of fun make the Festival what it is. We have so many great plays to look forward to this summer!

The venue:

Canterbury

Tyler Hill House, 13 Calais Hill, Tyler Hill, Canterbury CT2 9LT, UK

Folkestone

Three Hills Sports Park, Cheriton Road, Folkestone, CT19 5JU

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