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4.1 out of 5 stars19
4.1 out of 5 stars
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The precise nature of this unique setting enhances the audience participation to a marked degree, an element that is utilised at every suitable opportunity by the actors. The lines are delivered with a knowing fluency that nicely bridges the gap between the Elizabethan use of the language and modern comprehension of that usage.

Music and song is effortlessly woven into the production, and the naturalness of the non-professional singing also adds to the veracity and charm of the event.

I use the word 'event' to describe this production and recording as an 'event' is the over-riding feeling of this very vibrant production/performance which sets it apart from all other versions that I have previously seen.

The actors and acting are both of a high standard throughout, and whatever minor quibbles one may have about either of those two considerations, one is constantly reminded throughout that ';the play's the thing' and on this occasion the play is made to come alive most successfully and enjoyably.

The recording does full justice to this with all words and actions clearly caught.

I would suggest that this disc in either format, Blu-ray or DVD, deserves serious consideration as a potential purchase.
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on 20 June 2013
...and these men (and women - and women dressed as men) make for a great evening's entertainment. This is not one of Shakespeare's meatiest plots; nor, frankly, one of his funniest comedies - but it is hard to imagine any production doing better than the Globe players.

Rosalind holds this play together, and Naomi Frederick does a splendid job, with a light comic touch. For most of the play she is dressed (rather fetchingly, I thought...) as a boy, but scrubs up nicely for the final scene. Jack Laskey plays Orlando as a naive and callow youth, which is fair enough, as he has to be fairly dense not to see through Roslaind's disguise in eight seconds flat. The only problem with this is you wonder why Rosalind doesn't dump him for his elder brother the second Jamie Parker walks on stage.

Touchstone hams it up nicely, the Duke-in-the-forest is handled sympathetically, and minor characters such as Audrey, Phebe and (in particular) Silvius are faultlessly portrayed; but Jacques steals every scene he's in. Tim McMullan (looking and sounding like a young Terry Jones) is wonderfully lugubrious, world-weary, and aloof to all the excitement the other characters feel. He pops up in all sorts of strange parts of the theatre, and deals with the over-familiar Seven Ages speech wonderfully well.

One minus - the music. Usually the Globe's musicians do a splendid job; but not so here. It's not bad, as much as inappropriate. Dixieland jazz in the Forest of Arden doesn't cut it for me.

That tiny quibble aside, this is an excellent production, and is heartily reccommended.
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If, like me, you are rather fed up by "films of plays" that are actually plays turned into films, then this is for you. As You Like It played in the Globe, and sympathetically filmed as a production - you can feel - and see! - the audience's excitement and involvement.

Naomi Frederick makes for a very exciting Rosalind, almost believable as a male (Ganymede) - amusingly (and fittingly!) almost more male than her Orlando (Jack Laskey).

Thea Sharrock's production was rightfully acclaimed at the Globe, and this DVD is a great way to experience the performance.

And if you're a student studying the play - or a teacher looking for an easy couple of lessons - look no further, and buy this!
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on 30 April 2010
This is a fantastic production of As You Like It! Brilliantly beautiful music, wonderful actors and a really funny jig at the end. Would definitely watch this over and over again!
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on 25 July 2012
This is an excellant DVD The production is a very good one and the camera angles make you feel as you are right there in The Globe Theatre. Not a thing is missed. The director has picked up well on the comedy in this play without resorting to slapstick. Enjoyed it a lot.
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on 9 January 2012
I already have three versions of `As You Like It' on film, but this is by far the best. Not only is the acting superb, but being a film of a live production allows you to see how the actors are able to use the audience to great effect. The comedy really comes out, and you get a feel for what Shakespeare had in mind when he wrote the play. This production also has the advantage of being directed by Thea Sharrock, who handles the whole play brilliantly, particularly the relationship between Orlando and Rosalind as Ganymede as Rosalind.
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on 2 October 2012
This DVD is a filmed version of a performance at the Globe. Subtitles are available, which is handy.

As You Like It as a play is a potent mixture of fairytale romance and simple, often bawdy, comedy. We know that Shakespeare wrote his plays so they would appeal to the groundlings and the educated audience but director Thea Sharrock takes it a bit too far. The characters that are meant to be broad are done for the most part very well. Silvius, Phoebe and Jaques are spot on; Audrey is suitably grotesque; Touchstone garbles a little. However I disliked the broad interpretation of Celia, which smacked of upstaging to me. You don't need to bang the audience over the head with the meaning- the very fact that they've come to the Globe means that they must have some experience of Shakespeare.

Naomi Frederick as Rosalind gives an earnest performance but it feels slightly out of place in such a broad "modern" production. Jack Laskey as Orlando looks far too modern and perhaps a bit too much of a weed. The only name here you might recognise is Jamie Parker as Oliver, Orlando's evil older brother. Parker does a good job of balancing the words with the comedy- there's a great moment when he's trying to revive Rosalind (dressed as Ganymede) and discovers that this boy may not be all boy...

Out of all his plays, As You Like It is the most solidly theatrical. There is no real plot- Rosalind falls in love with Orlando, runs off into the wood in disguise with her pals, and everybody has jaunts and chats in the forest- and so all the film adaptations have been to some degree a failure. Therefore as a stage performance, this is useful to students of the play. Sharrock does manage the pace well, but it's just a shame that the play is never really touching or romantic.
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on 27 July 2015
Really enjoyed watching this adaptation if As you like it , the globe does a brilliant job with every Shakespeare show , although DVDs can be a bit over priced , probably easier to rent on the globe player.
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on 20 August 2010
I have seen all the five versions of As You Like It available on DVD, and unfortunately this play has not been done in a definitive version yet (although of course I cannot speak to all the stage versions I haven't seen). In my judgment, the two best versions are the BBC version (1978) and the Branagh version (2006), both of which I rate 4 stars out of 5. Then there are the slightly dull Olivier version from 1936 which deserves but 3 stars, and the very low-budget Christine Edzard movie (1992) which doesn't work very well, and rates 2 (maybe 2½) stars out of 5.

This new DVD, a 2009 stage production from Shakespeare's Globe, directed by Thea Sharrock, also fails to achieve excellence. It is a minimalist version with a completely bare stage (just a few columns, to unconvincingly represent trees), which gives a sterile impression, and the actors are not quite charismatic and powerful enough to carry the show on the strength of their acting and delivery. Of the entire cast I recognized only a single actor, Tim McMullan, and found only one other actor's performance memorable, namely that of Peter Gale's Amiens.

With no props, no exceptional actors and hardly anything in the way of comedy (directors and scholars alike often forget that plays like As You Like It and Measure For Measure are actually comedies, and take them far too seriously), the performance therefore comes dangerously close to being mere recital. The possibilities for crafting an interesting on-stage milieu are so great that it is hard to forgive a director who does absolutely nothing. I know it is thought by many scholars and historians that the original Elizabethan stagings consisted of hardly any props but the costumes, but I am quite convinced that this is incorrect, considering the attention given to the wall prop in the play-within-the-play in A Midsummer Night's Dream. And in the theatre world today, productions have to compete on a level suited to our modern times. Minimalism does not satisfy, unless some element of acting or stylism is particularly impressive. Considering how many good productions have been (and are being) made, Sharrock's Globe version of As You Like It sadly has a hard time convincing us to spend our time watching it. It is not awful, but neither does it rise above mediocrity.

Happily, one of the other recent Shakespeare Globe releases, Romeo and Juliet, directed by Dominic Dromgoole, is better by very much more. Dromgoole has the experience and sensitivity to Shakespeare that I cannot detect in Sharrock, and his productions are deeply engaging and about as worthwhile as stage theatre gets. 4½ or 5 stars to Romeo and Juliet - and I have every expectation that his Love's Labour's Lost (also out this year from Shakespeare's Globe) will be of the same quality.
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on 11 July 2010
A first class production, filmed live at The Globe Theatre, London. A wonderful cast brings Shakespreare Rom Com, to life. Theres, music, romance, cross dressing, and a goat !!!!! What more could you ask for !!Shakespeare: Loves Labours Lost (Globe Theatre 2009) [Blu-ray]
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