As You Like It (1992)

by William Shakespeare

In our 1992 production of As You Like It, director Maria Aitken, placed her version as the film set of a Thirties movie, complete with film cameras, crude wind machines and director chairs. With lots of cinematic in-jokes and parody's of storybook England with costumes from a medieval pageant, this was an entirely new re-imagining of the well-known comedy. Many of the cast were members of illustrious theatrical dynasties, including Rex Harrison's granddaughter Cathryn Harrison as Rosalind, Ian Holm's daughter Bette Bourne, with a 'feathered cloake, hook-nose and bouffant hairstyle...sweeping across the stage like a bird of prey' (Evening Standard).

The cast

Creative team

Programmes and Marketing



Claire Armistead

"The framing concept is that Shakespearean pastoral life has its match in the artifice of the vintage hollywood movie... Though this tinkering can seem distractingly fussy, the undoubted coup is the casting of drag queen Bette Bourne as a Jaques who, as the movie's director, becomes the central intelligence - fastidious, cynical, torn between loathing and amusement at the play's heterosexual antics..."

Ms London

"The open air stage is perfect for the woodland scenes where fleeing maids rosalind (Cathryn Harrison), disguised as Ganymeade, and cousin Celia (Sarah-Jane Holm), disguised as Aliena, play hide-and-seek." "The shrill of a hovering crow adds to the forest environs and as the audience nestle down, wrapped in car blankets with hampers at their feet, the epilogue signals that a perfect evening is skilfully captured on film."

Daily Express

"There is much to admire in the evening, not least in the theatrical dynasties on display. Rex Harrison's granddaughter Cathryn makes the most beguiling Rosalind. Ian Holm's daughter Sarah-Jane is a spirited Celia and Sir Peter Parker's son Oliver is a most virile Orlando..."

Evening Standard

"Bruno Santini has cleverly designed period costumes which might have hung in Robert Atkins's wardrobe."