Open-air theatre As You Like It as Shakespeare comedy comes to gardens of Knebworth House
- Credit: Jack Offord
All the world's a stage and that will be the case when William Shakespeare's As You Like It is performed in the grounds of Knebworth House this weekend.
The Lord Chamberlain’s Men are back on the Sunken Lawn of Knebworth House on Sunday, August 7 for an evening of entertainment.
Founded in 2004, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men are the modern incarnation of Shakespeare’s original company of the same name.
One of the UK’s finest open-air touring theatre companies, they invite you to join them for the sparkling comedy As You Like It as Shakespeare first saw it performed – in the open air, by an all-male cast, and with Elizabethan costumes, music and dance.
Peter Stickney, artistic director and producer, said: “As You Like It is a wonderfully warm, funny and rich play. We follow our main characters as they flee or are exiled from the court to set up new lives in the Forest of Arden.
"There they find love, freedom and, ultimately, happiness. There is clearly much to be said for running away to the countryside and starting again!
"There will be plenty of songs and laughs, some classic Shakespearean cross-dressing confusion and a spot of wrestling."
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As You Like It also has one of Shakespeare’s strongest and most recognised heroines, Rosalind.
Determined, passionate and with a razor-sharp wit, she refuses to be brought down by her circumstances and the world around her.
When she is exiled from the court, she disguises herself by dressing up as the shepherd Ganymede and sets about the challenge of solving everyone’s problems and, eventually, even her own.
Peter added: "In our production, as in Shakespeare’s day, there will be an extra layer of fun and intrigue as a man will be playing a woman who is dressed as a man whilst, at times, pretending to be a woman!"
Talking about the thrill of seeing theatre in the open air, Peter said: “Experiencing Shakespeare’s productions outside, where he first saw them, is a truly special thing.
"As the light fades and the moon shines bright, it is thrilling to think that we are looking at the same moon Shakespeare did whilst we listen to words he wrote more than 400 years ago.
"As we have all discovered from last year, seeing theatre outdoors is not only magical but safer too.
"We will continue to provide extraordinary entertainment at extraordinary venues whilst also providing somewhere audiences can more freely and happily enjoy themselves.
"We have been lucky enough to make and enjoy theatre in special outdoor settings for many years and I hope those looking to experience top-quality theatre will join us to enjoy this unique theatrical experience.”
The gates will open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start.
Tickets for the Garden Theatre performance at Knebworth are available from www.knebworthhouse.com