FIRST FIVE PERFORMANCES JUST $28…

In just over 3 weeks, Helen Howard and Thomas Larkin will take to the stage as leading lovers Rosalind and Orlando in one of La Boite's biggest production to date, Shakespeare's most joyous comedy, As You Like It.

Luke Cadden, Helen Cassidy, Kathryn Marquet, Dominic Nimo, Bryan Probets, Hayden Spencer, Trevor Stuart and Kate Wilson also star, with eight students actors from QUT and Southbank Institute of Technology completing the 18-strong cast.

This wonderfully witty feast of wisdom, love and lust, cross-dressing and cross-purposes, As You Like It wrestles onto the La Boite stage from 18 February. Tickets from just $28.

IN THE DIRECTOR'S CHAIR…

La Boite's Artistic Director David Berthold chats to us about sheep, wrestling, weddings and the dream-team cast of As You Like It…

On directing Shakespeare's most joyous comedy…
I've loved exploring the freedom of the actor-audience relationship in La Boite's theatre, and not just in the Shakespeares. This play will allow us to take that even further, in a joyful way. I want the whole theatre to be part of the action, and I think some of our ideas for the forest scenes – trees, sheep, goats and all – will allow for a lot of fun. Ever wanted to be a sheep in a play? This might be your chance.

This is a play in which people fall in love at first sight. We all want to believe in that, don't we? We all want to believe in happy endings?

On the relevance to contemporary audiences…
In many ways, it's a play about the fantasy of getting away from it all. Living in a place away from the pressures of the city and work and responsibility – a place in which it IS possible to fall in love at first sight and to explore love in all its colours. I think, too, it's probably the most satisfying ending Shakespeare ever wrote – there's barely a dark cloud on the horizon and he ties it all up so brilliantly, with tongue in cheek, a Greek god, four weddings, a family reunion, and a song and dance.

On casting Helen Howard and Thomas Larkin…
I needed a brilliant Rosalind. She is the indisputable centre of the play and Helen is indisputably brilliant. I've seen many young actors play Rosalind, and they often disappoint, often because it's seemed that they think it's like Juliet, or Helena or Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream. It's absolutely not. The role requires an actor of maturity, and Helen has that in the best possible mix of intelligence, experience and sexiness. She needs to be matched, and Thomas was my one and only choice. He was great in Hamlet, but he blew us away as Mark Antony in Julius Caesar. They complement each other beautifully. There'll be sparks.

On the cast…
It's a WONDERFUL cast. And to have these ten actors joined by eight more from the city's drama schools is a real treat, especially for this play. It will allow us to really let the play breathe. There are some fantastic cameo roles in this play and it's nice not to need to cut them! The play has such VARIETY – and I know this cast will be able to deliver it with relish and joy.

WATCH THE VIDEO CLICK HERE

For Bookings and More information: http://laboite.com.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=694

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