After the success of last year’s The Tempest, the Bard is back at the Buninyong Botanic Gardens with his popular comedy As You Like It.
The final shows will be held at 7pm this Friday and Saturday, and 1pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The event is being presented by the City of Ballarat, local community and Friends of the Buninyong Botanic Gardens.
Like The Tempest, As You Like It has been edited to 90 minutes. Some language has been updated to make the experience accessible to everyone.
Most of the cast either work at Sovereign Hill or are current or graduate Federation University students. One notable exception is National Theatre veteran Hedley Thomson, who is in his element playing the Duke exiled to the Forest of Arden and happily living the life of Robin Hood.
As You Like It has more songs than any other play by the Bard and the group has kept them all, brilliantly arranged and composed by musical director Zerene Webster. She is ably assisted by actor/musicians, Kirily Greenbank, drumming around as Touchstone the Fool, Emil Freund, cleverly playing mandolin and Jacques the melancholy and Barrie McCausland, who plays a God walking the Earth, strumming a banjo, which will surprise no-one. Kazoos also appear and pre-show music is by Measure for Measure, U3A Recorder Group and Martin Scuffins.
Shakespeare’s comedies were entertainments for the masses, joyful, funny and irreverent and this staging is produced in that spirit, after all, the play’s title is As You Like It.