Shakespeare as you like it in the Buninyong Botanical Gardens

Ballarat theatre lovers can enjoy one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies at the Buninyong Botanical Gardens. 

As You Like It is being performed at the gardens throughout February. 

AS YOU LIKE IT: Tim McMullin (Orlando), Mika Wallace (Celia/Aliena) and Chelsea Matheson (Rosalynde/Ganymed) are performing in Shakespeare's As You Like It in the Buninyong Botanical Gardens. Picture: Jeremy Bannister

AS YOU LIKE IT: Tim McMullin (Orlando), Mika Wallace (Celia/Aliena) and Chelsea Matheson (Rosalynde/Ganymed) are performing in Shakespeare's As You Like It in the Buninyong Botanical Gardens. Picture: Jeremy Bannister

The play has been edited to 90 minutes and some language has been updated, to make the picnic theatre experience accessible to families. 

Director Susan Pilbeam said it was a challenge to perform a play in such an open space as the gardens. 

“Part of the skill of the performers is to be able to deal with those changing conditions. The other great thing is you can be so close to an audience and they can be so relaxed,” she said. 

“We have had families having a picnic and you can’t do that in a theatre.”

Most of the play’s cast either work at Sovereign Hill or are current or graduate Federation University students. 

Actor Tim McMullin, who plays the part of Orlando, is a Federation University acting graduate and has just finished performing in another Shakespeare play in Melbourne. 

He said the setting allowed him to pick up the vibe of the audience while on stage. 

Picture: Jeremy Bannister

Picture: Jeremy Bannister

“It is classic Shakespeare to work the audience into the show itself. They get riled up into it and start booing and cheering,” Mr McMullin said. 

There are eight performances of the play over two weekends, ending on Sunday. Bookings for the shows can be made at trybooking.com.au or tickets can be purchased cash only at the gate.