‘As You Like It’ is in Action at Domino Theatre

Poster for Domino Theatre's production of 'As You Like It'. Poster includes the title, playwright, director, location, dates, times, ticket information, and supporters. The background is a dark forest.

Set forth on a journey through the Forest of Arden where love and laughter intersect to create a fascinatingly funny story. As You Like It is written by the brilliant William Shakespeare and Domino Theatre’s production of the show, directed by Peter Aston, is now playing.

Personally, I am not a big Shakespeare theatre-goer. I read a few of the plays in high school and saw some live performances, but it is not my cup of tea. With that being said, I did enjoy my viewing of As You Like It on Thursday night. It plays as a romantic comedy with many of Shakespeare’s common tropes like dressing in disguise. 

The play mainly focuses on our two leads, Rosalind (Sadie Williams) and Orlando (Jon Britton). Rosalind is niece to Duke Frederick (Cam Sedgwick) and cousin/best friend to his daughter, Celia (Sierrah Zawacki). Orlando is an average man who, at the start of the play, hears of his brother Oliver’s (Aiden Bruce) plan to have him murdered due to jealousy and resentment. Because of this, Orlando flees the kingdom into the Forest of Arden. Rosalind on the other hand, is banished by the Duke. This is because she reminds the people of her exiled father and the Duke’s older brother, Duke Senior (John Geddes). After overthrowing his brother, Duke Frederick sent him into exile. Rosalind’s banishment leads her into the forest with Celia and the court jester, Touchstone (Matt Davis), by her side. For the most part, the play takes place in the forest where the stories of our two leads intertwine, creating a compelling tale of love.

Considering this is a comedy, I feel it is fitting that I discuss this aspect of the play first. The play was written in 1599 and the comedy still holds up—for the most part. This is due to clever dialogue and the humorous situations the characters find themselves in. For example, Rosalind is dressed as a man for a large part of the play while interacting with Orlando. He is in love with her, but of course, unaware he is speaking to her. As you might guess, this leads to funny dialogue between the two.

Williams and Britton have professional performances as the two leads, each not skipping a beat. They are great as individuals, but when onstage together, their chemistry is tenfold. Williams is especially fantastic when portraying a woman disguised as a man. The trio of Williams, Zawacki and Davis is also enthralling. Davis’ energetic character mixed with Williams attempting to act like a man and Zawacki’s diva-like behaviour is very fun to watch.

I would recommend the play to adults but not children. Not because of the humour, but mainly because the play is spoken in Early Modern English. Even after reading some of his famous plays and seeing a few prior performances, Shakespeare’s words can still be difficult at times to understand. 

I, personally, would not be running to see the play again. As I stated before, I am not one to go searching for Shakespeare plays to attend. With that being said, this performance is very well executed and that in itself is a feat.

If you enjoy Shakespeare plays, or have an interest in this type of theatre, then this is the show for you. Its humour and fairly straightforward plot make it easily digestible for fans old and new.

Domino Theatre’s production of ‘As You Like It’ is playing until March 23rd, 2024. Find more information here.