As You Like It as you are like to see. In the appropriately verdant setting of Vyšehrad's 'Letni Scena' (Summer Theatre) we were transported to a Forest of Arden where nature conspired with art in the most extraordinary ways. At the interval, a spring breeze whipped the flowers from the lilac growing from the wall of the old castle, scattering petals over the upturned faces of the audience; and at the end, as if to crown the spell of love cast by Rosalind, a distant note sounded from a steamer on the Vltava below the ramparts. The timing could not have been bettered.
And that went for the play as well, whose moments of comedy, bawdy and lyricism were interwoven brilliantly in this high-energy co-production from the Prague Shakespeare Festival and Houston's Classical Theatre (sic) Company. In what was an exceptionally strong company performance, particular credit must go to director Guy Roberts, doubling as old Adam and the melancholy Jacques, and to Jessica Boone in her debut with the PSF as Rosalind.
Czech audience members were well catered for, both by the stammering attempts of Philip Hays's redneck Silvius to make out with Laura Baranik's appropriately tarty Phebe, and also the quantities of klobasy and the obligatory křen (horseradish), some of which your blogger inadvertently fed to a sheep. But that's another story. The highlight? Undoubtedly the moment when the company chorus of 'It was a Lover and his Lass' suddenly mutated into Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'. Hats off to all.