Chaos Attraction

Part 2: BBC 1978 Version of As You Like It

2019-06-07, 10:20 p.m.

Tonight I am making myself watch the two productions of “As You Like It” that I found in the library, as I have no effing idea how to play the part of Audrey.

First off is the BBC’s 1978 Version Review:

* This one is done pretty traditionally, presumably in a historically accurate manner and in an actual forest.
* Oh lord, the long haired dudes look like they all want to be Inigo Montoya.
* The ladies have such large horrible headwear that clearly must have inspired George Lucas’s costume designer for the Star Wars prequels. They could pick up radio signals if those existed. I can’t tell them apart either except one seems to have more hair than the other.
* Le Beau is gay, right? I guess that’s why he loves wrestling so much?
* Nice throw, Orlando.
* I feel better for poor “Ganymede” once she’s out of that awful headgear. “Aliena” looks adorable with her hair out.
* I still can’t figure out how two girls figure out (reasonably) that one of them should dress up as a dude for safety--then they decide to bring along a guy who presumably neither of them thinks would be Any Use At All at bodyguarding.
* 70’s fashion is the worst even in 1500’s costuming.
* Orlando is practically humping a tree.
* These people don’t know what palm trees are.
* I like the line about Jaques doesn’t like Rosalind’s name and Orlando is basically all “hey, you weren’t around when her parents picked it.”
* I have to say that I do not like Orlando’s ‘stashe. It looks like a schmuckstashe. As for Jaques, find the man a hairbrush, but I admit it looks appropriate for him to basically have Einstein hair.
* Actual line: “There’s no clock in the forest!” TRUE DAT!
* 70’s hairdos are so bad, no wonder nobody notices Rosalind’s gender.
* “Aliena” is bobbling around so much upon re-meeting Orlando that she seems a bit drunk. They didn’t have fresh water back then, right? She probably is?
* Now I’ve figured out why the ladies were so overdressed early on: so Orlando can’t fucking recognize even “Aliena” out of the headgear.
* You’re very dramatic, “Ganymede.”
* So now I’ve gotten to Audrey in this thing. Apparently she is the 1500’s equivalent of bimbo country girl. Maybe I should play her like a Valley Girl?
* Sir Oliver Martext is seriously missing all of his front teeth. WTF?
* “Ganymede” also fondles a tree.
* Rosalind is a stickler for timeliness. I agree with this, but it might be difficult to pull off with no clock in the woods.
* At this point Celia has the best outfit.
* Phoebe is very, very Scottish. I enjoy her basically scaring Silvius into the nearest tree.
* “Bugle eyes” continues to sound strange, inaccurate and dumb even though I looked this up and it’s more of a reference to bugle beads (i.e. her eyes are beady). Bugle beads are not even close to eye-shaped.
* I like the panicked look in “Ganymede’s” eye when Phoebe is staring at her and chasing HER up a tree.
* Phoebe, it’s not an insult to say your hair and eyes are black when they actually are black. “He” said far worse shit to you than that, girl, like “nobody else will ever want you so you’d better take this one, you’re desperate.”
* “Oh, come on, Rosalind, I’m only an HOUR late.”
* I seriously wonder about the gay/bi-ness of this play in Shakespeare’s time and how the fuck Orlando felt about all of this at the end.
* Don’t piss “Rosalind” or Rosalind off, dude, seriously. Or be late for dinner.
* “Ganymede” continues to be quite insulting. Phoebe can’t write a letter and she’s too mannish and obnoxious...okay, one out of three is legit. Phoebe’s method of wooing by writing a letter that tells you off is certainly a challenge, to say the least. It’s not a frequently used tactic...for a reason....
* Wow, Oliver has had some kind of cheerful facial makeover, I didn’t quite recognize him.
* “Oh, he sends this bloody napkin.” Eww.
* I seriously do not get why Celia would go for Oliver. Seriously, no, do not get other than the logic of “Pair the Spares” combined with Double In-Law Marriage.
* LION IN THE WOODS, MY ASS. Why the fuck didn’t he just say a bear? We know darned well Shakespeare knew about bears (exeunt, chased by one).
* Which is more unlikely, Oliver’s conversion via lion or Duke Frederick’s offstage one? Oh well, at least there’s a kind of logic behind “okay, I no longer hate my brother because he saved my life,” at least.
* “Brother,” “cousin,” I forget what lie we were telling about our relationship.
* “My fainting was very manly, I totally faked it,” says “Ganymede.” Oliver politely says “bullshit, that was real.”
* Audrey’s second scene. This now makes more sense when I see it: William is Audrey’s version of Silvius. She’s not into him and she enjoys Touchstone scaring the fucking shit out of him to get him to go away. Good to know!
* “I can do strange things” may be my favorite line in this. Oh yeah, I totes like, hang with a magician.
* Has Celia actually told Oliver her real name at any point? Does he know he’s marrying the child of that dude who yelled at him? Like, he might not enjoy that so much.
* I love how “Ganymede” emphasizes “FOR NO WOMAN,” repeatedly and honestly.
* Audrey’s third scene. She gets one line about wanting to get laid and then we watch some kids sing about ding a ding ding. FASCINATING. Not. Why is Shakespeare so obsessed with “hey nonny nonny,” anyway? Where did these freaking kids come from? Do you rent them out like door to door singers? (“I heard that you were feeling ill. / Headache, fever, and a chill....”)
* Huh, is this first time “Ganymede” and her dad are in the same scene? I know she mentions running into him at one point and not letting on who she is, apparently. How blind is your dad to have no effing idea when later on dad is all “huh, yeah, that boy does kinda look like my kid” and someone else is all “yeah, I thought they looked like siblings?” What’s with that shit? This is just as bad as when people can’t identify Clark Kent and Superman.
* Audrey’s last scene and she has even less to do except stand around. I don’t begrudge Sarah getting Phebe since I’m sure she’ll enjoy the gender bending more than I would be into, but ... just remember, BEING LAZY IN SHAKESPEARE, GIRL.
* I guess she’s just a horny Valley Girl?
* Maybe I should just like, stare into space and curl my hair or whip out some nail polish or my light-up fidget spinner or something while Touchstone rambles on.
* Oh, look, girls dressed as girls now.
* I will say that in this last scene, Rosalind does finally look good. Her hair is adorable here. I wonder what they did in this show, just make her wear a wig or what?
* Nobody wonders why some random “goddess” just shows up for this? That’s not weird to anyone? Also, come on, aren’t there few enough lady parts in Shakespeare without turning one of them into a dude?
* “As the winter to foul weather?” Is that an insult?
* I...guess Phebe is okay with this?
* Oh hey, I’m the missing middle brother that hasn’t been around the entire play so far!
* Btdubs, your brother was going to behead you untl he spontaneously had a conversation with a religious man and spontaneously converted. Der, what?
* Brother Jaques (not to be mistaken with Einstein Hair Jaques, incidentally, and why did Shakespeare throw in the same names twice over in the same show?) is like, the only attractive dude in this entire show. Well, Oliver isn’t that bad either.
* Everyone else is just randomly doing a circle dance in the back while Rosalind gives the epilogue.

Now on to the second movie...

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