And I really do like it, if the song on the trailer is anything to go by the production will be beautiful…
A summer garden party played out in slow motion to Marling’s acoustic soundtrack (listen out for this song in Act V Scene II) – encapsulating all that I love about this play – the feeling of carnivalesque liberation away from court, a summertime of hedonistic joy and love discovered in the wilderness.
With Shakespeare’s most famous songs, As You Like It is the obvious choice for the RSC to team up with a singer-songwriter such as Marling. Although the soundtrack is all her original music, Marling herself won’t be performing in the show. Rosalind will be played by Pippa Nixon, the bold protagonist of this wild and joyous play whose characters find freedom and love in the Forest of Arden.
The trailer for the RSC’s previous, most-recent production of As You Like It played on the ‘melancholy’ line, with Amiens’ haunting voice singing ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’, the same scene that Marling has adapted her lyrics from. It showed a lone melancholic figure accompanied by a chilling version of the song, in woods with stark shafts of sunlight. This trailer was a far cry from the more predictably, and perhaps more suitably, cheery video this time around. Of course the scene in the actual production was hilarious because of the parodic melancholia, with dead-pan delivery that was so over the top! (It is available to download on Digital Theatre, if you’re interested.) It’s intriguing then that the marketing department chose to represent the production in such an eerie way. Take a look and see what you think:
Although the new trailer is a little bit like a Jack Wills advert playing dress-up, with fairy lights and bunting, I look forward to seeing Maria Aberg’s new production of this, one of Shakespeare’s most regularly produced plays.
As You Like It plays in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre from 12 April to 28 September 2013, then at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle Upon Tyne from 29 October to 2 November.
Full review now published here, with the RSC version of ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’.