Exactly As We Like ItSaturday, June 11, 2011
We received a little package of Daniel Le Chocolat Belge, a bottle of Whistler Water, Kernels Popcorn, and a nice red blanket (to keep us warm in the evening’s brisk air) courtesy of Bard on the Beach. And if that was not enough there was a scrumptious catering by Emelle’s Catering and Whistler Brewing Company contributed with a potent apple cider.
Knowing that one of my favourite actresses (also a director) was Lois Anderson who played Rosalind, I knew I was going to enjoy the play. As You Like It features one of the three best (the other two Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and Cleopatra from Antony and Cleopatra) female parts in Shakespeare.
George Bernard Shaw (who was not exactly a Shakespeare fan) wrote:
The popularity of Rosalind is due to three main causes. First, she only speaks blank verse for a few minutes. Second she only wears a skirt for a few minutes (and the dismal effect of the change at the end to the wedding dress ought to convert the stupidest champion of petticoats to rational dress). Third, she makes love to the man instead of waiting for the man to make love to her – a piece of natural history which has kept Shakespeare’s heroines alive, whilst generations of properly governessed young ladies, taught to say “ No” three times at least, have miserably perished.
Lois Anderson’s Rosalind did not disappoint and neither did Ryan Beil as Touchstone the clown. But for me the revelation was the deft comic touch of Lindsey Angell who plays Phoebe the shepherdess who falls for Lois Anderson’s mustachioed Ganymede. I thought Angell was terrific and I would like to see her soon as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew (last seen at Bard in 2007). In fact I would like to see more of Angell whose comic delivery was only matched by Beil’s.
But there is another reason to enjoy Bard on the Beach. In some of these Shakespeare plays, because of their complexity, I often read what Harold Bloom might opine and explain in his Shakespeare – The Invention of the Human before I go to the performance. In this case, with As You Like It I read all about it, after the fact. I let the play unfold not knowing exactly what was going to happen and perhaps missing some of the meanings of what was said but depending on the acting to get the drift. I found this fun.
Like any good opera, Verdi’s Il Trovatore, for example, where one waits for that high note in the tenor’s interpretation of Di quella pira (will iit be smooth?) in Shakespeare’s plays one waits for the famous lines. When Jaques (the melancholy traveler played by John Murphy, another Bard veteran with a comic touch) gave his own dramatic version of the Seven Ages of Man: All the world’s a stage,…
|Malcolm Parry & David Mackay|
I was again not disappointed. Nor was I disappointed to hear (is it a tradition?) that errant De Havilland Beaver flying overhead. The view of the water and the mountains behind the mainstage and that Beaver are what make our very own Bard on the Beach so special.