I understand the reason why Sheree never told us her plans for As You Like It right away. We knew we were about to start working on a big project but had little idea what it was actually all about, with Sheree’s clues being in the form of photos of refugees and articles relating to the current refugee crisis. Had we been told we would be performing Shakespeare, I’m sure there would have been a different response to that which we had when we started working on the context of the piece. The word that stuck in my mind was gravitas. We had an important story to tell- despite not knowing quite what that story would be!
We began by exploring the stories of refugees and considering some questions for ourselves: What would it be like if we had to suddenly leave our homes? What would we bring? Where would we go? We were all still pretty much in the dark at this point about what piece we would be doing. When we were finally shown the script, we were assured that it would not the usual experience of doing Shakespeare (as things at SAVVY rarely are!)
A personal highlight was learning some stage combat techniques which I’d never done before, and watching as a fight scene was developed for the show. I loved being a part of this project and, without getting too cheesy, feel so lucky and proud to have been involved. Though I’ve enjoyed Shakespeare for the last few years, this was the first time I’ve seen how his plays can still be so relevant today, as the essence of our behaviour hasn’t really changed all that much since they were written! I’ve had a great time working towards this show and am equally pleased with how it turned out. Thank you SAVVY for giving me a safe space where I can have fun but also be a part of something pretty incredible.
Written by Liv Hawksworth, Young Company member.