As You Like It

by William Shakespeare

I have to work on containing a slight internal groan when actors start singing in any play. It's just a personal thing, like I hate it when the Simpsons start doing a musical set piece or those big production numbers in Mel Brooks films which are funny but also leave me wanting them to stop.

This Royal Exchange Theatre production, directed by Greg Hersov, is one of those occasions which prove me wrong.

James Day plays the Balladeer creating a fascinating musical thread through the whole production and is occasionally joined by the cast, punctuating the piece wonderfully. I was mesmerised from the start and it added a great soundtrack to the general weirdness.

Some really outstanding performances in this but it was especially good to photograph Cush Jumbo again. She just looks so good. I loved the way she played Rosalind as a boy. There's something about the street attitude and body language that just worked really well with the dialogue. I haven't yet seen this production with an audience ( just a few crew and staff in when I was shooting) but the humour in this will work even better. Throw in a little wrestling and a rabbit and you've got a top night out.

Cush Jumbo as Rosalind
James Day

Well, what can I say. It worked.

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