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William Shakespeare

As You Like It

Somewhere in France, the younger brother of the reigning Duke, Frederick, seizes power and ousts the previous Duke, who flees with a small entourage to the Forest of Arden.

The Duke‘s daughter Rosalind, best friend of her cousin Celia, Frederic‘s only child, remains at court. Orlando, a young nobleman, arrives at court, pursued by his older brother Oliver. Orlando falls in love with Rosalind and angers Frederick, who expels Rosalind from the court. Rosalind and Celia flee to the Forest of Arden with the court jester Touchstone, in disguise: Rosalind is now the young peasant Ganymede and Celia the peasant girl Aliena. They settle down in a simple cottage. In the meantime, Orlando has also fled to the Forest of Arden and is hanging love poems for Rosalind on the trees. Rosalind, as Ganymede, suggests that he should confess his love to her, or rather to him, i.e. Ganymede, and in this way he will be cured of his annoying feelings. Thus, the Forest of Arden, an alternative, utopian reality to the political intrigues of the outside, urban world and Frederick‘s court, becomes a complex labyrinth of emotions, desires and identities: while Ganymede meets Orlando, the shepherdess Phoebe, the love of shepherd Silvius, falls in love with him, and Touchstone finds the somewhat sluggish goatherd Audrey as an object of desire. Orlando is pursued into the forest by Oliver, while the exiled Duke wanders through the bush ...

As You Like It, 1599


Premiere: 4. April 2024

Performance length is 1 hour and 40 minutes and has no pause.



Juš Zidar

As You Like It is one of Shakespeare‘s mature and most often performed comedies, in which Shakespeare deals with two opposing worlds: reality and utopia. Utopia is set in the forest as an alternative to a narrow and repressive, inhibition-filled reality - a place where, according to Shakespeare, everything is possible: miracles (A Midsummer Night's Dream), extreme love, madness (King Lear), extreme violence (Titus Andronicus)... The forest is a refuge (The Two Gentlemen of Verona), but above all it is a place for the shifting identities of those who dare to enter it. The Forest of Arden is inhabited by strange and fascinating people who do not conform to social norms, by fluid, fairytale-like entities, by beings who refuse to live in the political order of Frederick‘s kingdom and who have all sorts of values and desires. The forest turns out to be a place where they can realise themselves and find an ideal partner, all kinds of love and relationships are possible here, there is no need for politics, for pretence, no awkwardness in language, no social classes, gender is not important, there are no restrictions.

The comedy As You Like It will be directed by Juš Zidar, one of the most prominent directors of the younger generation, who directed Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky‘s The Idiot last season on the Main Stage, and Ivan Vyrypaev’s black comedy Drunks a few years ago. In the comedy As You Like It, he will deal mainly with the possibility or impossibility of utopia.


Premiere in April 2024 on Main stage