Ganymede

August 20, 2018 | By | 2 Replies More

★★★☆☆     Timely reworking

Paradise in Augustines (Venue 152): Thurs 3–Sat 25 Aug 2018
Review by Hugh Simpson

Ganymede, TypeCast Productions’ reworking of Shakespeare at Paradise in Augustines, is an intriguing production that uses the spirit of the Bard to cast light on contemporary concerns.

Historically, As You Like It has often been dismissed as a lightweight piece. However, it certainly has always contained strands about gender identity and these are brought to the fore in writer-director Jamie Gould’s adaptation, which explores LGBT themes.

Ganymede Typecast Productions EdFringe 2018 Kiara Pascale, Ash Alexander, Chris Pearson. Pic Alex Addison

Kiara Pascale, Ash Alexander amd Chris Pearson. Pic Alex Addison

Here is a Rosalind who is much more comfortable as Ganymede than he ever was before he came to the forest of Arden – to the disappointment of Celia, whose relationship with Rosalind was what caused them to run away.

Ash Alexander’s Ganymede is a grounded and well realised performance, contrasting effectively with Kiara Pascale’s more skittish Celia. Isaac Allen’s puppyish, constantly surprised Orlando is a sympathetic version of a character who can often be intensely dislikeable.


Steve Laquerriere’s Silvius displays some fine comic timing in his pursuit of Ava Hickey’s Phebe, whose sense of haughty entitlement is spot on.

Rewriting Duke Frederick as a minister is an interesting twist, and Chris Pearson has a stately, buttoned-up poise. Steven McDonald’s Oliver does suffer from coming in so near the end, almost as an afterthought, but is discharged with considerable charm.

bittersweet

The framing scenes are well enough written and probably necessary, but they cut too much into the time available, meaning that the Shakespearean scenes in the middle are cut just that bit too much for comfort.

Ganymede Typecast Productions EdFringe 2018 Ash Alexander, Kiara Pascale and Isaac Allen. Pic Alex Addison

Ash Alexander, Kiara Pascale and Isaac Allen. Pic Alex Addison

That ‘happy ever after’ ending is never entirely convincing even in the original, but here is even more bittersweet, foregrounding problems of acceptance and convention. Knowing who you are does not necessarily make relationships with others any easier, a point which is brought home in an always intriguing production.

It would be a cliché to say that this is a ‘brave’ endeavour – in theatrical terms, the bravest thing is eliminating entirely the character of Jaques, whose speeches are the best known thing about the play.

What remains is a production that gives exposure to voices and experiences not often heard on the stage, and one that gets closer to the spirit of As You Like It than most traditional versions.

Running time 1 hour 5 minutes (no interval)
Paradise in Augustines (Venue 152), 41 George IV Bridge, EH1 1EL
Thursday 3 – Saturday 25 August 2018
Daily at 10.00 am
Book tickets on the Fringe website: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/ganymede
Facebook: @typecastprod
Twitter:@TypeCastProd

ENDS

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  1. Deborah Davison says:

    This was very compelling, deeply moving, with great performances from the cast. I very much look forward to seeing more of them in future.

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