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As You Like It

Plot Summary

Orlando is the youngest of three brothers, badly treated by the oldest, Oliver; Duke Senior, meanwhile, has been banished and the court usurped by his younger brother, Frederick. Orlando fights with Charles, the court wrestler, and he and Rosalind, daughter of the exiled duke, fall in love. Rosalind and her cousin Celia, daughter of usurping Duke Frederick, leave the court for the Forest of Arden, taking the fool Touchstone with them; Rosalind disguises herself as a boy ('Ganymede'), while Celia calls herself 'Aliena'. On being told by the old family servant Adam that Oliver is plotting to kill him, Orlando also flees to the forest.

In Arden, Rosalind and Celia buy a farm in order to help the old shepherd Corin; Orlando meets up with the banished duke and his courtiers. 'Ganymede' offers to assist Orlando in his wooing by pretending to be Rosalind, so that he can rehearse his love-lines. The shepherd Silvius is in love with shepherdess Phoebe, but she falls for 'Ganymede'. Touchstone, after initially scorning rural life, decides to marry Audrey the goatherd, displacing country bumpkin William. Oliver comes to the forest and his life is saved by Orlando; he repents of his wicked ways and falls in love with Celia. Wicked Duke Frederick becomes a hermit and Rosalind, restored to her female self, arranges multiple marriages, presided over by the god Hymen. All ends happily, save that the melancholy traveller Jaques wants no part in the festivities.

RSC Staging History 1960-2007

1961 RST/1962 Aldwych: Michael Elliott
Richard Negri (design); Richard Pilbrow (lighting); George Hall (music)

Vanessa Redgrave (Rosalind), Rosalind Knight (Celia), Ian Bannen (Orlando), Max Adrian (Jaques), Peter McEnery/Peter Gill (Silvius), Jill Dixon/Jeanne Hepple (Phebe), Colin Blakeley/Patrick Wymark (Touchstone), Patsy Byrne (Audrey), Paul Hardwick (Duke Senior), Tony Church (Duke Frederick), Russell Hunter (Corin), David Buck (Oliver), Ian Richardson (Le Beau), Clifford Rose (Adam), Gareth Morgan, William Wallis (Lords)

1967 RST, Aldwych, UK Tour/1968 Los Angeles/1968 RST: David Jones
Timothy O'Brien (design); John Bradley (lighting); William Mathias (music)

Dorothy Tutin/Janet Suzman (Rosalind), Janet Suzman/Rowena Cooper (Celia), Michael Williams (Orlando), Alan Howard (Jaques), John Kane/Bruce Myers (Silvius), June Watts (Phebe), Roy Kinnear/Patrick Stewart (Touchstone), Frances de la Tour/Susan Fleetwood (Audrey), Patrick Stewart (Duke Senior), Morgan Sheppard (Duke Frederick), Terence Hardiman (Corin), Charles Thomas/Bernard Lloyd (Oliver), Ben Kingsley (Amiens)

1973 RST: Buzz Goodbody
Christopher Morley (design); Brian Harris (lighting); Guy Woolfenden (music)

Eileen Atkins (Rosalind), Maureen Lipman (Celia), David Suchet (Orlando), Richard Pasco (Jaques), Peter Machin (Silvius), Janet Chappell (Phebe), Derek Smith (Touchstone), Annette Badland (Audrey), Tony Church (Duke Senior), Clement McCallin (Duke Frederick), Jeffery Dench (Corin), Charles Keating (Oliver), Anthony Pedley (Le Beau), Sydney Bromley (Adam)

1977 RST/1978 Aldwych: Trevor Nunn with John Caird
John Napier (design, RST), Quentin Thomas, Gemma Jackson (design, Aldwych); John Watts, Stewart Leviton (lighting); Stephen Oliver (music); Gillian Lynne (musical staging)

Kate Nelligan/Charlotte Cornwell (Rosalind), Peter McEnery/James Laurenson (Orlando), Judith Paris/Cherie Lunghi (Celia), Emrys James (Jaques), Ian Gelder/Peter Clough (Silvius), Lynsey Baxter/Jane Carr (Phebe), Alan David (Touchstone), Ann Holloway (Audrey), Oliver Ford Davies (Duke Senior), John Rhys-Davies/John Burgess (Duke Frederick), Edwin Richfield (Corin), Charles Dance (Oliver), Paul Imbusch (Le Beau), Jeffery Dench (Adam), Ian McNeice (William), Deirdra Morris (Rustic Girl)

1980 RST/1981 Aldwych: Terry Hands
Farrah (design); Terry Hands, Clive Morris (lighting); Guy Woolfenden (music)

Susan Fleetwood (Rosalind), Sinéad Cusack (Celia), John Bowe (Orlando), Derek Godfrey (Jaques), Allan Hendrick (Silvius), Julia Tobin (Phebe), Joe Melia (Touchstone), Corrina Seddon (Audrey), Trevor Baxter (Duke Senior), Bruce Purchase (Duke Frederick), Tom Wilkinson (Corin), Jonathan Hyde (Oliver), Bille Brown (Le Beau), Jimmy Gardner (Adam), Michael Siberry (Jaques de Boys)

1985 RST/1986 Barbican: Adrian Noble
Bob Crowley (design); David Hersey (lighting); Howard Blake (music)

Juliet Stevenson (Rosalind), Fiona Shaw (Celia), Hilton McRae (Orlando), Alan Rickman (Jaques), Roger Hymans (Silvius), Lesley Manville (Phebe), Nicky Henson (Touchstone), Mary Jo Randle (Audrey), Joseph O'Conor (Duke Senior/Duke Frederick), Colin Douglas (Corin), Bruce Alexander (Oliver), Griffith Jones (Le Beau), Mark Dignam (Adam)

1989 RST/1990 Barbican: John Caird
Ultz (design); Alan Burrett (lighting); Ilona Sekacz (music)

Sophie Thompson (Rosalind), Gillian Bevan (Celia), Jerome Flynn (Orlando), Hugh Ross (Jaques/Le Beau), Alan Cumming (Silvius), Cassie Stuart (Phebe), Mark Williams (Touchstone), Joanna Mays (Audrey), Clifford Rose (Duke Senior/Duke Frederick), George Malpas (Corin), Howard Ward (Oliver), Andrew Hesker (Martext), Eric Francis (Adam)

1992 RST/1993 Barbican: David Thacker
Johan Engels (design); Jimmy Simmons (lighting); Gary Yershon (music)

Samantha Bond/Kate Buffery (Rosalind), Phyllida Hancock/Samantha Bond (Celia), Peter de Jersey (Orlando), Michael Siberry (Jaques), Andrew Cryer (Silvius), Emma Gregory (Phebe), Anthony O'Donnell (Touchstone), Susan-Jane Tanner (Audrey), Jeffery Dench (Duke Senior), Andrew Jarvis (Duke Frederick), John Bott (Corin), Adrian Lukis (Oliver), Nick Kemp (Le Beau), Alfred Burke (Adam), Jonathan Cake (Lord), Jenna Russell (Lady), Alan Cox (Soldier)

1996 RST/1996-97 Barbican: Steven Pimlott
Ashley Martin-Davis (design); Mimi Jordan Sherin (lighting); Jason Carr (music)

Niamh Cusack (Rosalind), Rachel Joyce (Celia), Liam Cunningham (Orlando), John Woodvine (Jaques), Joseph Fiennes (Silvius), Victoria Hamilton (Phebe), David Tennant (Touchstone), Susannah Elliott-Knight (Audrey), Robert Demeger (Duke Senior), Colum Convey (Duke Frederick), Arthur Cox (Corin), Sebastian Harcombe (Oliver), Raymond Bowers (Le Beau/Martext), John Quayle (Adam)

2000 RST/2000-01 Pit: Gregory Doran
Kaffe Fassett, Niki Turner (design); Howard Harrison (lighting); Django Bates (music)

Alexandra Gilbreath (Rosalind), Nancy Carroll (Celia), Anthony Howell (Orlando), Declan Conlon (Jaques), Andrew Pointon (Silvius), Danielle Tilley (Phebe), Adrian Schiller (Touchstone), Nina Conti (Audrey), Ian Hogg (Duke Senior/Duke Frederick), Barry McCarthy (Corin), Tom Smith (Oliver), David Mara (Le Beau), Peter Copley (Adam)

2003 Swan: Gregory Thompson
Colin Peters (design), Hilary Lewis (costumes); Judith Greenwood (lighting); David Stoll (music)

Nina Sosanya (Rosalind), Naomi Frederick (Celia), Martin Hutson (Orlando), David Fielder (Jaques), Daniel Brocklebank (Silvius), Natasha Gordon (Phebe), John Killoran (Touchstone), Patricia Gannon (Audrey), Michael Hadley (Duke), Michael G. Jones (Corin), Aaron Neil (Oliver), Alistair Robins (Le Beau), Tim Barlow (Adam)

2005 RST/2006 Novello: Dominic Cooke
Rae Smith (design); Paule Constable (lighting); Gary Yershon (music)

Lia Williams (Rosalind), Amanda Harris (Celia), Barnaby Kay (Orlando), Joseph Mydell (Jaques), Jamie Ballard (Silvius), Caitlin Mottram (Phebe), Paul Chahidi (Touchstone), Meg Fraser (Audrey), Jonathan Newth (The Dukes), Peter Bygott (Corin), John Mackay (Oliver), Miles Richardson (Le Beau), Patrick Waldron (Adam), Trystan Gravelle (Jacques de Boys), Alan Morrissey (Dennis), David Rogers (Charles the Wrestler), Gurpreet Singh (Amiens/Hymen), Sally Tatum (Hisperia)