Productions at the RSC are ‘traditionally innovative’ and although this may sound like an oxymoron, those used to the approach the Company have been adopting to the settings know that we can always expect something novel. This time I think they nailed. This 60s-70s inspired production of As You Like It perfectly sets the play in a hazy, foggy and soul-searching period of the Western recent history that well matches the political and identity anxieties Shakespeare raises in the play.
Unlike the 2009 Michael Boyd’s production of the play, which was too dry and gory to please, Maria Aberg’s production is warm, witty, complex and unsettling as a Shakespearean comedy has to be. Pippa Nixon is the best Rosalind I have ever seen and I would dare to say that Shakespeare himself would be pleased with her performance for her Rosalind is indeed the embodiment of the female character that we all love to love.
And on the top of that, there is the music. Beautiful and thrilling it makes you leave the theatre with that melancholy you imagine the characters in As You Like It would have felt when they had to leave the Forest of Arden and go back to their ordinary lives. This is indeed the best compliment a director can pay to Shakespeare when bringing As You Like It to the stage.