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Your comments - 2010 tour


AS YOU LIKE IT AT OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC:

The whole ensemble was truly excellent and while one sensed that there were actors here of exceptional calibre in their own right as individuals (and that was before reading the glittering biographies in the programme), they worked together so superbly as a team that one might have been watching a theatre company already established many years.

When Oliver (Matt Milburn) came onstage to denounce his brother, he had wickedness oozing from his pores – a true Mr. Nasty (but such a good-looker, the bastardo!) It was a relief to witness his transformation at the end of the play. Jim Bywater (Touchstone) in glorious jester’s Technicolour held his audience in thrall from the start with his very naughty flickering tongue! He was exceptional – a real master of the stage. I loved the way that later he and his effervescent Audrey (Naomi Cortes) pranced across the stage with such jollity. For those who didn’t have the lengthy stride of Matt Milburn (Oliver), the expansive open-air stage seemed like a daunting space to have to cross and Naomi Cortes had a most endearing way of skipping herself across that great void with lovely poetic movements of the hands and arms and a constant smile throughout her presence on stage.

David Davies as Jaques was so very good, especially in the big soliloquy ‘All the World’s A Stage’ which he instilled with a new freshness and apparent spontaneity. He had me spellbound and his melancholia at other times had the audience very much amused. That still quite young ‘old hand’ of the stage and screen Alexander Delamere had the perfect amount of gravitas needed for the role of Duke Frederick with a gently playful sense of humour lingering below the surface.

Poor Luciano Dodero had the demanding role of the shepherd Silvius, hopelessly inarticulate, totally unschooled in love, and having to compete with the charms of the fascinating Ganymede (Rosalind in disguise played by Lucia McAnespie) who has his girl, Laura Murray’s Phoebe hopelessly entranced. He was perfect in the role and the way he and Lucia McAnespie worked together on stage was pure magic!

The exceptionally pretty Laura Murray as Phoebe with her winning West Country accent that the Czech audience clearly loved, revealed special comic gifts in the hilarious scene where she desperately attempts to catches Ganymede’s attention, adopting various photographic model-style poses and a repertoire of accompanying gestures, sadly, all in vain! I’ll never forget this scene. It was so very well done indeed! Furthermore, I’m sure I wasn’t alone in being secretly thrilled by the gentle sexual frisson arising from the dramatic irony based on gender confusion and I loved the momentary horror expressed later by Orlando after planting a kiss on the lips of his future bride at the realization that he has just kissed a man as he believes Rosalind to be at that time.

Lennox Greaves demonstrated his fine dramatic pedigree by playing the three entirely dissimilar roles of Adam, Le Beau and Corin in outstanding fashion. Beautifully expressive (lovely facial communication and very clear vocal articulation) Stacey Roca took on the unenviable task of playing Celia, companion to Lucia McAnespie’s confidently assertive and supremely self-assured yet at times slightly vulnerable Ganymede/Rosalind. However, Roca held her own, and the two demonstrated a very pleasing on stage rapport. From the moment of her initial utterances, McAnespie’s Irish brogue worked its magic on her audience in a land where all things Irish are regarded as in some way pure and mystical.

Andrew Hodges distinguished himself in the first few minutes as the dangerous brute, Charles the Wrestler in a match with the very likeable Orlando (the ideal for the role Gabriel Thomson). The wrestling match was very well staged. I expected something rather unconvincing that wouldn’t fool a hardened Czech audience but the locals were clearly impressed.

The highly talented Andrew Mathys (Amiens) provided us with imaginative musical continuity from the violin and then surprised everyone with a masterful performance of the inebriated (and surely defrocked) curate, Sir Oliver Martext. The audience loved it!

During the performance there were a couple of nice offstage saxophone solos played by Laura Murray which enhanced the atmosphere perfectly.

I had the very great privilege of meeting the cast after the performance and what a beautiful and thoroughly unpretentious group of people they were. I’m a Brit that’s lived in Ostrava for fifteen years now and I have to say that the visit here by your company was possibly the most exciting cultural event I have witnessed for a long time.

I do hope I didn’t leave any cast member out. They were all superb.

Peter Toth

AS YOU LIKE IT AT CAMBRIDGE:

We thoroughly enjoyed your performance on Saturday evening at Girton College. It was a perfect evening and the best open air Shakespeare production we have been to in Cambridge.

Diana Watson

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR AT NORWICH:

What a wonderful performance in the magnificent setting of Norwich Cathedral cloisters. The whole cast performed with great gusto and the acting and timing were superb. The whole audience was clearly delighted.

Thank you all for an enjoyable and memorable evening. We do hope you will come back to Norwich. Thank you and best wishes for the future of your company.

Ann & Richard Boulton

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR AT NORWICH:

Just got back from seeing Merry Wives of Windsor in the Cathedral Cloisters in Norwich and wanted to express our admiration for the performance, the actors and our enjoyment of the evening.

It was a wonderful venue providing a perfect setting for the play which was very fluidly executed and immensely enjoyable to watch. We do hope that you will return to our City with future productions and would like to say congratulations to all at GB Theatre. Keep up the good work.

Sarah Lain & Andy Ambridge

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR AT WINDSOR:

My goodness me, what an evening! I thoroughly enjoyed myself from
start to finish and cannot thank the GB Theatre Company enough for
such a special event.

I wanted to somehow capture my memories this morning and have posted accordingly on the RWWSS Forum. I hope my efforts meet with your approval.

I was hugely impressed with the spontaneity and enthusiasm of the
entire cast and hope that your summer season continues with equally
as much success as was evident last night.

Quite simply, I cannot recall such an enjoyable few hours. I am very grateful.

My sincerest regards

Roger Cullingham Editor
www.TheRoyalWindsorWebsite.com

AS YOU LIKE IT AT DUBLIN:

I just wanted to say well done on a super production of As You Like It last week in Trinity College as part of the Dublin Shakespeare Festival. It was an excellent performance by all that I saw on Friday and myself and friends, like pretty much everyone there, really enjoyed it. There was a great sense of pace and wonderful comic timing throughout.

Do come over to Dublin again!

All the best,
Dr Stephen O'Neill

Lecturer in English,
School of English, Media and Theatre Studies,
National University of Ireland, Maynooth.


AS YOU LIKE IT AT READING:

Our family attended the performance of 'As You Like It' at Reading School and it was an absolute treat. My sons (aged 11 and 14) had not had the opportunity to see a Shakespeare play before but both absolutely loved the experience.

The whole evening provided a wonderful way to introduce my children to Shakespeare...even Touchstone's catscraddle. Many thanks to all concerned.

Bridget Waites

AS YOU LIKE IT AT READING:

Last night was wonderful; I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the interaction with the audience; very Shakespearean!!
Thank you for a truly magical and engaging night.
The wrestling scenes were superb; I was in the front and still winced.
I have just been talking with my friend and we both agreed that we loved the intimacy of the evening. We were blessed with being in the front row and I have been to many open air Shakespeare plays and everything about last night’s performance made it one of the best.
Thank you, once again.

Stella Phillipps

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR AT READING:

What a treat we had last night. We did not know the Merry Wives previously but took a gamble and REALLY enjoyed the show! All the actors were absolutely outstanding.

I hope you will return next year and I shall keep my eyes skinned for signs of activity at the school! Best wishes for the rest of your tour.

Pat Stevens

AS YOU LIKE IT AT READING:

First, please let me say how much we enjoyed last night's performance of As You Like It... it was extremely entertaining and so well performed; my thanks to all involved. The event was good value, and the location was also good.

We liked it so much, we would like 4 more tickets for tonight's performance. If possible we would like some seats saved for us, as my parents are a little hard-of-hearing (no complaints though, they heard every word ok last night!!)
Thanks again!!

Tim & Judith Townsend

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR AT READING:

We all had a wonderful time watching the 'Merry Wives'. It was a first class performance and I haven't enjoyed a play as much for many years. The acting and the comic timing were superb.

Please pass on our comments to GB Theatre - both the organisers and players. We hope that something similar can be held again.

Many thanks,

Ian and Clare Johnson