I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
I am always charmed when I go to see a Shakespearean play and hear familiar phrases. As You Like It certainly has its share of those.
A cinema chain near me offers showings of the National Theatre (London) on a regular basis and I went this week for my first experience of this play. As expected, I enjoyed it a great deal. The only issue was a slight falter in reception (and regrettably this was during the famous “All the world’s a stage” scene).
It has all the elements that say “Shakespeare” to me—mistaken identities, disguises & cross-dressing, instantaneous loves, and questions of loyalty.
The stage set for the Arden forest was extremely interesting—the forest itself was created from furniture suspended from the ceiling, which I know sounds weird but somehow it worked well. Watching the transformation of the stage to this arrangement prompted intake of breath among the audience. It was amazing to watch as things gradually swept up into place.
Also fabulous was the music and singing, which really enhanced the experience and which I wouldn’t even have realized I was missing, had I merely read the play at home. Truly, the plays are meant to be experienced, rather than simply read and this one was a great pleasure on so many levels.