As You Like It. RSC at the Theatre Royal (Newcastle)

2nd November 2013

There was a Rasta with a spliff. It was probably only intended as an update of Shakespeare’s humour; yet for me it was the most memorable point of the play. I’m not saying it was bad; it was just quite average for the RSC.

The music by Laura Marling was as powerful and emotive as ever. In fact it was the music which provided an atmosphere of emotion, whenever the lacklustre performance of the dialogue fell short. The music also assisted the moments of comedy, which picked up during the second act. The wrestling scene near the beginning was an odd mixture of humour and brutality. It reminded me a little of Bane fighting Batman in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.

Overall it was an enjoyable performance, but it had moments of painful dullness. It was the music that made it (although I am a massive Laura Marling obsessive so I’m probably biased). It was the random lighting of a spliff mid-scene that will stick with me. Maybe it was more than comedy. Maybe it was symbolising something.

Probably not though.

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