The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1101  Thursday, 5 June 2003

From:           Graham Hall <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 05 Jun 2003 09:00:05 +0000
Subject:        Getting To Like It

AYLI in Oxford on the melancholy night the city heard that its bid to be
European City of Culture 2008 had failed. (The runes told that Zeus
would inflict horrible retribution upon its wretched Council for
instigating eighty quid parking fines.) "Shunned Ambition" give a
student production - why do they all appear to be 14 years old? - that
promised "requisite exoticism, the theatrical vocabulary of both Noh and
Kabuki theatre [...] moreover, the Buddhist doctrine pervading Japanese
classical theatre is very close to that propagated by As You Like It".
But there is always the chance of spotting a nascent Burton so one's
initial anxieties can be assuaged. Reassurance is quick to come as both
Adam and William wear Elizabethan workers' woolly hats with their judo
outfits. Clearly no total rejection of the pursuit of authenticity
then.  The performance turns out to be every bit as innovative as the
RSC's with a beautiful pastel set, clearly delivered dialogue, much fun,
a rattlingly sustained pace, and a fair amount of  pleasantly mystifying
cross-gendering. It's unfair to single out players from an all round
excellent cast but keep a future eye peeled for Prasanna Puwanarajah
(Jacques on the night) and Lily Sykes (Rosalind) who are apparently
heading for points of the compass further than the dreaming spires.

Two excellent AYLI in one season! So if you are near, see them. How
merry are my spirits.

Graham Hall

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