Fun, wit and wisdom in Shakespeare’s tale of love

IT’S THE female equivalent of Hamlet, says Deirdre Mullins who plays Rosalind in As You Like It for Shakespeare’s Globe on tour this summer (Herstmonceux Castle, July 28-29).

Using an Elizabethan-inspired stage, influenced by paintings and etchings from Shakespeare’s time when touring was prevalent, eight actors will visit beautiful and inspiring settings across the UK and Europe in a scaled-down production.

And in Rosalind, Deirdre believes she’s got the plum role.

“She is an amazing part to play. She has got something like 25 per cent of the whole play. She has got a huge amount of stage time, and she has just got an amazing connection with the audience. She is talking to them the whole time.

“She is great fun. She is very very clever, very witty, very front-footed and spirited, playing games with people and challenging people. She is an adventurer full of an adventurer’s spirit. She is willing to risk herself and to be hurt. She understands the pitfalls of love and how love changes, but she is still willing to put herself through it and go on this journey.

“And the great thing is that the audience will go along on that journey with her. She is the only woman in Shakespeare that gets to woo her man.”

Shakespeare has been a big part of Deirdre’s career.

“I did an English degree up at St Andrew’s and then I trained down at Bristol,” she said.

“There is a big emphasis on Shakespeare at the Bristol Old Vic. A lot of your lessons are through the medium of Shakespeare, things like vocal classes using Shakespeare to explore, so Shakespeare has been a very natural and important part of my life.”

Tickets on 020 7401 9919.