Left – Thomas Carney, Thomas Larkin. Cover – Alec Snow.
La Boite's first production for their 2012 season, Shakespeare's As You Like It, is a joyous and earthy cavort. Overall a fabulous ensemble piece that brings together the superb acting talents of Helen Howard as the ever sharp and sophisticated Rosalind, and Thomas Larkin as the honourable and handsome Orlando.
There is never a dull moment and the audience is captivated from the start as we are drawn into the treachery of Duke Fredrick's (Hayden Spencer) machinations. Edgy and powerful fight choreography by Justin Palazzo-Orr is enthralling and grabs the audience immediately. Thomas Larkin as Orlando is a joy to watch and is the quintessential romantic hero, from his raw and testosterone-fuelled wrestling scene to his fervent protestations of his love for Rosalind. Helen Howard is brilliant. She brings Rosalind's powerful femininity to the fore and holds this potency with vigour as she steps into the male guise of Ganymede.
Bryan Probets is pure comedic delight as Touchstone. Strong and entertaining performances by Helen Cassidy as Celia, Kate Wilson as Duke Senior and Luke Cadden, Hayden Spencer and Trevor Stuart in their multiple roles keep the delicious energy of this production humming through every act. Memorable moments are also supplied by many of the acting interns who enrich the scenes with their beautiful songs, animal antics and a glittering Greek god.
Magnificent direction by David Berthold is inviting and free flowing, the actors' performances and even the set, extends beyond the parameters of the formal stage, as the entire roundhouse is used as a playground. The actors hide at the audiences' feet, use the patrons as trees and even incite the crowd to participate in the merriment of the moment and Shakespeare's prose.
Renee Mulder's design work balances beautifully across the entire piece, from the dark and foreboding beginnings to the quirky and vibrant reveal of the magical woodland. The lighting design by David Walters adds another wonderful layer to the aesthetic and gently assists to bring the audience into the communal and festival feel of the performance. Guy Webster's sound design and original compositions are perfectly placed within the action and resonate long after you have left the theatre.
La Boite's As You Like It is infectious and uplifting. David Berthold's interpretation is a perfect fit for the intimacy of the roundhouse. The entire production oozes warmth and charm, and the audience is embraced by the luminous glow that emanates from all aspects of this very funny play. This is definitely, a La Boite production not to be missed!
La Boite presents
As You Like It
by William Shakespeare
Director David Berthold
Venue: La Boite’s Roundhouse Theatre, Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove Village
Dates: 18 Feb – 24 Mar, 2012
Times: Tues & Wed 6.30pm, Thurs – Sat 7.30pm
Matinees: 2pm Sat 24 Mar and selected mid-week shows
Tickets: from $28
Bookings: 07 3007 8600