As You Like It has sometimes seemed a subversive play that exposes the instability of gender roles and traditional values. In other eras it has been prized - or derided - as a reliable celebration of conventional social mores. The play's ability to encompass these extremes tells an interesting story about changing cultural and theatrical practices. This edition provides a detailed history of the play in production, both on stage and on screen. The introduction examines how changing conceptions of gender roles have affected the portrayal of Rosalind, one of Shakespeare's greatest comic heroines. The striking differences between the British tradition and the freer treatment the play has received abroad are discussed, as well as the politics of court versus country. The commentary, printed alongside the New Cambridge Shakespeare edition of the text, draws on primary sources to illuminate how costuming, stage business, design, and directorial choices have shaped the play in performance.
• Extensive commentary on the production history of the play is printed alongside NCS text • Introduction provides sophisticated yet readable analysis of changing gender roles and political influences • Illustrated with production photographs
List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Table of productions; Introduction; Text and commentary; Bibliography.
'I cannot recommend too highly the whole series (a bargain at £16.99 for each play) to all theatre lovers, theatregoers, theatre practitioners, and anybody who enjoys Shakespeare.' Robert Tanitch, What's on in London
'In short, this excellent edition is not only a practical handbook on As You Like It; it is also a demonstration of the play's power as a cultural prism which colourfully displays humanity's muddle of evolving values.' Around the Globe