This year, The Company of Adventurers has a wonderful treat in store for audiences: Shakespeare’s hilarious comedy As You Like It. This year’s show has some built-in surprises that you won’t want to miss. There is an intriguing entrance way leading in to the show that will engage you from the moment you step inside. (Arrive early and you’ll see what we mean!) This play is a fun one, so get ready for some hysterical moments of audience participation. It comes complete with a ridiculous wrestling match, some very bad poetry written by the love-struck Orlando, a court jester wandering in the woods, stubborn shepherdesses, an attack by a lion (in a forest in France), and a group of single-minded foresters who love to sing! Like all of our shows, this year’s production will appeal to people of all ages, bringing Shakespeare to life in ways that will make everyone a fan!
For the past eight years, the Company of Adventurers has been entertaining Old Ottawa South audiences with Shakespeare’s best-loved plays, from tragedies like Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, to comedies like Twelfth Night. After last year’s lavish and heartbreaking Antony and Cleopatra, it is time for a comedy again. As You Like It, one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, features many of his signature elements: unrequited love, generational strife, cross-dressing and mistaken identities, and an escape into a forest (in this case the Forest of Arden) where things get hopelessly muddled before they are finally sorted out. Music has always been a major part of The Company of Adventurers’ performances, and this year is no different. In fact, this play contains more music than any other Shakespeare play, and our production lives up to that legacy.
In As You Like It the plot begins when the young Orlando is forced to flee by the evil Duke Frederick, but not before winning the heart of the Duke’s niece, Rosalind. As luck would have it, Rosalind herself is banished soon after along with her cousin Celia. Having disguised herself as a man in order to travel more safely in the forest, Rosalind (now Ganymede) soon runs into Orlando, who mistakes her for a local shepherd. Eager to make the most of the situation, Rosalind (now Ganymede) offers to cure Orlando of his love madness if he will call every day and pretend that Ganymede is Rosalind. Confusing? It all makes for unforgettable comedy before everything falls into place.
Shows take place every weekend in September at 57 Glen Avenue. Performances are free, but the actors pass a hat after each show to raise money for a local charity, this year the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary which was chosen by the actors. Shows are cancelled in the event of rain.
Paul Keen helps out with the The Company of Adventurers and lives in OOS.
Originally published in the September 2019 OSCAR.