Ely Cathedral hosts As You Like It - review by Rosemary Westwell

CAST's production of As You Like It at Ely Cathedral

CAST's production of As You Like It at Ely Cathedral - Credit: Archant

The University of Cambridge American Stage Tour presented a delightfully entertaining production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It in Ely Cathedral presbytery.

These highly talented performers captured our hearts from the start and we could relate perfectly to the characters ranging from the lovely Rosalind (Amy Malone) and love-stricken Orlando (Joe Pitts) to the well matched Touchstone (Ryan Monk) and Bawdy Audrey (Megan Gulbert).

Every character was true and the reactions to each other’s speeches were particularly impressive.

The witty Shakespearean language was delivered with astute, expressive timing while scenery costumes and mannerisms of the characters were brought up-to-date without ever losing the high quality of Shakespeare’s twists and turns in his witty script and complex plot.

The ingenious stage tableaux, especially the sheep scene and the beautiful highly appropriate music (Jamie Felton) had us transfixed.

Special moments for me were the realistic fight scene at the beginning of the play when Orlando attacked his brother Oliver (Alasdair McNab), when Celia (AliceCarlill) expressed such disdain by casually reading a book, ignoring the intricate games the lovers around her played and the MacDonald’s picnic.

Only a highly successful group such as this would get away with such a scene.

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They begin their American tour in September.