As You Like It is a ‘play for our time’ – and it’s coming to Leeds Playhouse very soon!

Northern Broadsides and New Vic Theatre present a refreshingly bold staging of As You Like It in the Quarry theatre at Leeds Playhouse from 18th – 21st May.

The production challenges us to imagine a new future, showcasing the power of love to change the world. Shakespeare’s timeless themes of love, gender, identity and power will be demonstrated with a contemporary twist, performed by a wonderful cast of twelve northern actors. The cast include non-binary and disabled performers from the worlds of stage, TV and film for a truly diverse collective of talent.

Set in the stylish but stifling court of an all-powerful duke, this visually spectacular production designed by EM Parry and Lighting Designer James Earls-Davis sees high-spirited Rosalind and her devoted cousin Celia escaping in disguise into the forest, where they engage in an elaborate game of fluid identity with Orlando, Rosalind’s recent object of affection.

“People adopt new names, new clothes and new lovers,” said Laurie Sansom, Artistic Director of Northern Broadsides. “They experience new feelings and dive into them willy-nilly, they play many parts and make many entrances and exits. It’s as if everyone has stepped through the wardrobe into another world but not without taking a lot of fabulous clothes with them.

“Of all of Shakespeare’s plays, this feels the most restorative, opening up the possibility of making a new world based on open-hearted acceptance of each other and living in harmony with the natural world. This feels like a play for our time, challenging us to imagine a new future that is more playful, accepting and connected.”

The show will star EM Williams (My Brilliant Friend, National Theatre; Dream, RSC; Romeo & Juliet, Hull Truck Theatre) as Rosalind. Isobel Coward (Nicer Than Orange Squash, Leeds Playhouse; Home Girl, Derby Theatre; OutStageUs, Hope Mill Theatre) as Celia and Shaban Dar (Brink, Royal Exchange; 50 Years, Waterside Theatre; The Bay, ITV1) as Orlando.

Don’t miss your chance to see the show this May – book your tickets at leedsplayhouse.org.uk.

Photograph credited to Andrew Billington

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