Shakespeare in the Park…in English!

as you like it 1Guest post by Arthur Ford

The Tower Theatre is returning to Paris to perform in the Theatre de Verdure for the 23rd time this summer. Behind this dry statistic is an amateur theatre company that can’t believe its luck to be a part of the Jardin du Shakespeare festival in the lush surroundings of the Bois de Boulogne. This year we will be performing “As You Like It” from June 3 through June 8. This is a play in which two jesters, one facetious, one melancholy, compete for the affections of the audience, while four pairs of lovers find themselves entangled in the real-life Forest of Arden. Shakespeare always was a fan of gender reversal, but this reaches new heights in this comedy.

The Theatre de Verdure is the perfect setting for a play where most of the action takes place in a mythical forest.

as you like it 2The highlight of performing so far (we have completed a run in England) has been the camaraderie amongst the cast. I am one of the youngest, at 26, while the oldest cast member is 50 years my senior. We are all tremendously excited about Paris.

Each person is travelling to Paris at their own expense for the opportunity to perform Shakespeare here. We will be staying in shared rooms at a hotel in Montmartre, and it will be interesting to try and navigate the Parisian public transport down to the Bois de Boulogne in time for our noon-time performances. I just hope my roommate does not snore!

I am also excited because there is evidently a real audience for Shakespeare in the original English both amongst the French speakers and the expats in Paris. We hope to meet the expectations set by past shows!

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