Re-working 9-5 with Sun & Moon Theatre
09 July 2021
As we write this we are really looking forward to performing As You Like It at St George Park in Bristol this Sunday with the fabulous Bristol Shakespeare Festival. This will be our 4th time performing at St George Park with the BSF and we’re excited to be performing again. The BSF performances will mark the end of our As You Like It summer tour as we’ve performed in Bodmin, Exeter, Ottery St Mary, Penzance, Black Torrington, Par and wrapping up in lovely Bristol.
Our current show is a revival of our As You Like It which we performed at St George Park in the summer of 2018. In these uncertain times we’re in, during the initial talks with festivals and venues, we thought it best to turn to a show we’ve done before – a show that, in our view, has gained more relevance than it did when we first performed it 3 years ago:
“In the corporate, tech-obsessed world of the Court, the present is grinding and the future feels bleak. But when Rosalind is abruptly dismissed, she and her cousin, Celia, seize the opportunity for a fresh start, embracing the liberty of the bohemian Forest of Arden. They experience love, transformation, and the thrill of empowerment, switching off, and ‘wasting’ time. Full of live music, comedy, and romance, this jubilant ensemble production serves as a reminder to do what you love and remember how to live!”
‘Remember how to live’, ‘do what you love’, ‘switching off’ and characters escaping to the open-air – how familiar does this feel to us now as we’ve become more dependent on tech during the pandemic from work to often our only outlet for connecting with family and friends, some of whom we haven’t seen since before Covid-19 hit. Our As You Like It has found new relevance as we yearn to be back outdoors and connecting with others again.
This has included connecting with actors! Why ‘Re-working 9-5’? Our original 2018 show had a cast of 9, and we re-configured it to a cast of 5, primarily so we could form a ‘bubble’ with each other (easier to do so with fewer of us) and we all delightfully fit in one car (practical!). Being an ensemble of 5 has meant all of us taking on extra roles in addition to our original roles which means there is a lot of wonderful doubling in the performance, resulting in hilariously quick changes, which enhances the already eccentric, madcap nature of this play! We rehearsed initially over Zoom trying to avoid face-to-face contact and when we eventually all met for the first time in person for an outdoor rehearsal, we hadn’t seen in each other in over a year. It was an emotional and surreal experience to be in each other’s company again and doing what we love – making theatre. We’ve had a brilliant time working together again on arguably Shakespeare’s breeziest comedy (at least as soon as they get to the Forest of Arden!), but most importantly it has been a joy to connect with each other and with audiences again.
We were saddened having to cancel last year’s performances as we love working with the Bristol Shakespeare Festival and we love performing at St George Park. After what feels like an eternity from the last time we were there, it’s wonderful to be coming back - as As You Like It’s Celia says ‘I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it’ – we concur most heartily!