Sundays are meant for this: sunshine, a country walk, and then reading in a beer garden before watching Shakespeare in the sun, overlooking mountains with my handsome man...
Here is my The Stage review of alfresco As You Like It:
As You Like It
“All The World’s a Stage!” proclaims the small, versatile cast of As You Like It, performing in their pop-up outdoor theatre against a stunning sun-drenched backdrop of Monmouthshire mountains. One of 66 dates in pretty locations, Rain or Shine’s adaptation of this classic scores decently on topicality. The first half centring on The People’s Games and including asking a random punter to deliver a flaming torch to the stage. The ensuing entertaining wrestling match also contains amusing, effective slowmo action and comical costumes.
Pippa Meekings shines, playing a feisty and fun gender-swapping Rosalind against Tyler Coombes’ lily-livered lovestruck Orlando. Hilary Derrett brings humour as the flirtatious Madame Labeau - La not Le, for she is ‘Tout Labeau,’ all woman - and gets all the best lines as the melancholic moraliser Jacques. James Reynard is spot on as the hippy Duke Senior bumbling about his forest with his merry men waiting for something to happen. All the cast fair well, yet there are some weak spots involving light-hearted, silly Panto scenes with the minor characters - many of the shepherd scenes feel superfluous, and those involving the pursuit of Audrey and Phoebe often fall flat.
Still, in the interval the audience are invited to reflect upon and discuss how jolly life is, and by the end of this mostly likeable family show, the sun-soaked picnicking crowd agree it is very jolly indeed. Had it rained, it may well have been a different story.