As You Like It


As You Like It

Orlando, one of the sons of Sir Rawland de Boys

10 Jun – 07 Sep 2002

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

Rachel Kavanagh


The tone is dictated at the outset by Benedict Cumberbatch’s raging Orlando, furiously kicking a bucket away in frustration at his lost fortune, and is continued by Adam Levy’s suave Oliver, petulantly pushing his younger brother’s hand off his shoulder. Nor is there any attempt by Duke Frederick to hide his displeasure at Orlando’s winning the wrestling match. – What’

The role of Rosalind is an obvious delight and Rebecca Johnson is a likeable, puckish heroine who seems ideally matched to Benedict Cumberbatch’s perfectly pensive, poetic Orlando. – London Theatre Guide

The cast are uniformly good. Rebecca Johnson is an outstanding Rosalind, agile and appealing, but not overdoing her imitation of a boy when she assumes the disguise of Ganymede. Thus she is able to remind the audience of the woman within the role she is playing in this game of love. Benedict Cumberbatch brings conviction to Orlando, a relatively thankless role, for he must play “straight man” to Rosalind-Ganymede’s witticisms about no man ever dying for love, or about the fact that “maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives.” – Theatre Pro

The wonder is that Rebecca Johnson’s bright, shining-faced Rosalind and Benedict Cumberbatch’s desperate Orlando really do convince us of romantic love’s passionate intensity They echo Andie MacDowell and Hugh Grant’s sodden Four Weddings climactic embrace, but this time entirely authentically. – Herald Scotland