As You Like It is one of my absolute favourite Shakespeare plays. It’s got everything you could possibly want from the Bard: cross-dressing, songs, dances, and there’s even a lion. I saw a cracking version at Shakespeare’s Globe last summer, which was everything As You Like It should be, but this production is very different. Where the Globe’s production was a full-blow summer romp, Polly Findlay’s Arden is far bleaker, but nevertheless there is still a real warmth to the production; mainly due to the astonishing set design.
I friggin’ love the Donmar. It is probably my favourite ever theatre (sorry Globe), which I suspect has something to do that the first thing I saw there was Coriolanus with Tom Hiddleston, but nevertheless I have always enjoyed my visits there.
What’s more, my visits are always super duper cheap. They run this brilliant scheme called Barclays Front Row, enabling you to buy front row seats for £10 for EVERY PERFORMANCE. The tickets are available online on Mondays at 10am for performances two weeks later, and they usually sell out within minutes so it’s worth hovering around on the web page a couple of minutes before to click the link the instant it goes live. The view from the seats are always amazing (like I said, they’re all front row), but in case you miss out then the standard ticket prices are actually pretty reasonable, and usually standing tickets at the rear of the circle are sold on the day for £7.50.
I’ll be honest with you: I didn’t think there was even the remotest chance that I would get to see Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet live on stage. The entire run sold out in literally seconds (and in any case the majority of tickets were far beyond my budget), I missed out on the £10 ticket ballot in June, and, much as I love Mr Cumberbatch, there was absolutely no way I was going to queue outside overnight for day tickets. I had very much totally and utterly resigned myself to the fact that I would not see this particular production.