Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 29th Season in Vanier Park with a ‘60s- inspired, Beatles-infused production of As You Like It. This high-spirited, music-filled staging will be directed by Daryl Cloran, the Artistic Director of the Citadel Theatre. Cloran directed Bard on the Beach’s 2015 hit musical production of Love’s Labour’s Lost.
“For me, setting As You Like It in 1960s Vancouver felt like the perfect fit for Bard on the Beach,” says Daryl Cloran. “When I think of that time period, I feel an immense connection between The Beatles’ early music and the storyline of the play. The 25 Beatles songs we’ve chosen lend themselves perfectly to this romantic and spiritual story. The transition of The Beatles through the ‘60s is reminiscent of the free-spirited journey of the play’s main characters and the social and cultural evolution of Vancouver during that time. I was also inspired by memories of All-Star Wrestling in the heart of Vancouver – and I realized we could incorporate the laid-back environment of the Okanagan in the ‘60s to represent Shakespeare’s Forest of Arden.”
“We have an incredibly talented group of performers who are putting all of their skills to use throughout this production, whether it’s singing, dancing, playing in the band or wrestling” says Cloran. “We’re working with talented choreographer and fight director Jonathan Purvis to literally bring audiences ringside, with an homage to the excitement of All-Star Wrestling in the ‘60s in Vancouver; then we transform the stage into the forest of the Okanagan. I can almost guarantee that audiences will be leaving the theatre this summer with joy in their hearts after experiencing this blending of Beatles music and Shakespeare’s words.”
Set Designer Pam Johnson will be creating the ringside spectacle prior to transforming the stage into the Okanagan forest. Inspired by the fashion of the ‘60s, from conservative to free-spirited, Costume Designer Carmen Alatorre will be packing a decade of styles into the production. Sound Designer and Musical Director Ben Elliott will weave the music of the Beatles through the story and lead the cast in live musical performances of the songs.
“From ringside to the middle of the forest, the cast will be performing all The Beatles songs live,” enthuses Cloran.” Adds Christopher Gaze, Bard on the Beach Artistic Director, “this production is filled with music that all generations love. It will touch a huge range of people and become an inspired gateway into the magic of Shakespeare”.
Dates of note for As You Like It include:
OPENING NIGHT – Friday, June 22 at 7:30 pm
BARD-B-Q AND FIREWORKS – July 28, August 1 and 4 at 5:30 & 6:00 pm
FAMILY NIGHT – June 26, July 24 and August 21 at 6:00 pm
TALKBACK TUESDAYS – July 10, 17 and 24; August 14 and 21 at 7:30 pm
WINE WEDNESDAYS – August 8 at 7:30 pm
CLOSING NIGHT – Saturday, September 28 at 7:30 pm
Ticket prices for all regular play performances start at $24 CAD. Early booking is recommended for best seat selection, as many performances sell out in advance. The full performance schedule, site information and play and special events details are on the Bard website at bardonthebeach.org. To book tickets, order online through the Bard website or call the Bard Box Office at 604-739-0559 or (toll free) 1-877-739-0559.