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Day 40: As You Like It

Summer Shakespeare 2007 Wellington

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages …

Shakespeare, As You Like It Act II, Scene vii

The clouds started to roll in late afternoon. I had been invited by my daughter and her friends to attend this evening’s Summer Shakespeare performance of As You Like It being held at The Dell in the Botanic Gardens. As I raced out of the house I grabbed my rain jacket just in case. We are in Wellington after all!

By the time the show started the clouds became darker and the air felt heavier. None of this deterred the people gathered for the performance. They spread out their blankets, passed around food and drink, and enjoyed being outside. Sitting there in front of the stage with its backdrop of trees seemed so appropriate for the rustic setting of the play.

The director announced that if rain required them to stop the performance we could get our tickets transferred to another day. Everyone accepted that rain was imminent. The only question was how much of the show would we get to see.

The performance began …

I knew nothing about As You Like It. To tell you the truth, I am not a great fan of Shakespeare dating back to my school days when we had to study his work in English classes. I have always struggled to understand the language. It feels like I am listening to something completely foreign. I find myself relying on all sorts of other cues to try and understand what is going on. It didn’t take me long to work out this was a comedy and the story had all the hallmark features of sibling rivalry and romantic entanglements.

Boy meets girl, girl dresses up as a boy. Now, girl dressed as a boy meets boy again. Girl dressed as boy then dresses as girl and boy woos girl dressed as boy dressed as a girl… CONFUSED? They are!
Source: www.feelinggreat.co.nz

The rain came and went, and the show continued. Finally, in the closing stages of the production the heavens opened with such a passion that within minutes everybody was completely drenched. This somehow added to the charm of the whole experience.

I felt so happy driving home in soaking wet clothes, with the car windows steaming up, the rain still bucketing down outside, and the chit chat of my daughter and her friends. What a wonderful evening.

“Maybe I don’t mind Shakespeare after all,” was my thought as I walked into my warm, dry home.

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