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As You Like It is a rollicking all-male revue in dress ups
Back of house at the Pop Up Globe Theatre must have been on edge last night when Melbourne turned on a spring deluge. They needn't have worried. Nothing was going to dampen the spirits of cast or audience for the evening performance of As You Like It. Stylish rain ponchos competed for attention with extravagant period costumes as actors mingled with saturated 'groundlings' in true Shakespeare style.
The bard was renowned for breaking the fourth wall, and nowhere was it more evident than in the banter between stage and punters. Contemporary references to the weather, the vote on marriage equality and smashed avo on toast abounded. The versatile all-male cast played men, women, sheep, even an angel descending from heaven - another OH and S nightmare for those poor backstage boys.
The absence of microphones, while adding to the authenticity of the performance, would have created some confusion for those patrons silly enough not to have done a bit of homework. Blokes in frocks playing women playing men can be hard to follow without a basic grasp of plotline, especially when the volume is turned down.