Off to the National Theatre Live screening of As you like it; which didn’t quite live up to its billing.
Setting the court in some febrile open-plan office rather disguised both its potential role as a source of honour and high culture, and its actual dangers if the fount of honour was toxic at source. Similarly, although the grand suspension of the office furniture was great fun, and the forest looked convincingly cold, it was hard to believe in it as a purlieu of the Great Wild Wood, or in the lion and the serpent. It followed that the moral pattern and allegory of the play became blurred, and the usurping Duke’s repentance actually got a laugh from the audience. Jacques’ departure, unreconciled and irreconcilable, so chilling on the page, was a nothing.
Perhaps being somewhat ailing made me captious and too aware of the nasty cinema chair. It was As you like it, and there was, after all, a good deal to enjoy. But when the top memory of the evening remains the flock of sheep (admittedly an outstandingly enjoyable flock) I have to feel that it was a production which had parted from its anchor, and I would not trust my heart to it.