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As You Like It – A Frolic in the Forest

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This year Watch Your Head theatre company returns to Savill Garden, creating a truly memorable and immersive production of As You Like It by William Shakespeare.

The aptly chosen Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park, a renowned horticultural haven, is the perfect location for a stroll with Shakespeare on an English summer’s evening. The play begins in the patio behind the Savill Building (winner of several design awards) where the audience can grab a drink from the bar and watch the cast emerge as if from nowhere. Latecomers beware, this is an immersive and interactive production and the cast won’t let you off easy!

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Sasha McMurray, the director and co-founder of Watch Your Head makes the most of the unique, beautiful and ever-changing landscapes of the venue. The cast leads the audience through the garden which unravels into the Forest of Arden. Musical interludes smooth the transitions between the scenes and every opportunity is used to present theatrical surprises, some even hanging from trees. Voss’ excellent choreography and Major’s expressive music compositions complement each other beautifully, adding an extra level of delight.

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The multi-talented cast put up a good fight against the raucous aeroplanes flying overhead. There is never a dull moment as the cast are always in character; even in the background they can be seen frolicking, arguing and singing under trees, in the bushes and by the pond. Anna Lukis grows into her love-struck character (Rosalind) who is a delight to watch; while Molly Hanson (Celia) and Lewis Goody (Orlando) give consistently strong performances in their own right, even with one arm in a sling in Goody’s case. Jack Bannell (Jaques) is the most comfortable, in both his role and surroundings; he truly gives justice to the Shakespearean humour and comical wit.

Back at the patio, a wedding breakfast is served to celebrate the conclusion of the intertwined love stories. This delicious spread is supplied by Leiths and can be ordered in advance; however, it is certainly not a requirement! Wedding speeches, music and acrobatic performances bring this one of a kind experience to a close.

As you Like It is running till 24th July 2016 at Savill Garden and for £35, it is definitely worth seeing this summer.

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