Director Roger Hodgman takes us from the Heath Ledger Theatre into the Forest of Arden for Black Swan’sproduction of Shakespeare’s As You Like It. It’s a pleasant pastoral foray, filled with laughs, quirky characters created by some of Perth’s most favourite mainstays and up-and-comers, and lovely production values. This clear and consistent modern rendition will have a wide appeal and just might give you the warm fuzzies on an autumn evening.
In a recent interview about the show in the West Australian, Hodgman remarks “I once said I would never use a mobile phone in Shakespeare but I must admit there is one in this production.” I admit that I too am from this school of thought that the use of gadgetry on stage can be irksome if it’s relied upon too heavily, but Hodgman has used it mostly tastefully and unobtrusively. Only once did Caitlin Beresford-Ord’s aimless tapping on an iPad distract me in the court scenes; thankfully, once we migrated to the forest, ostensibly out of 4G range, the gadgets were abandoned in favour of old-fashioned notes posted on trees. Is that hipster enough for you?