Lovers, clowns, philosophers and sheep - there’s so just much to love in EODS open air production of As You Like It next week.
Duke Frederick has staged a coup and exiled his brother, but allowed niece Rosalind to stay at court. Rosalind falls in love with nobleman Orlando at a wrestling match, then she too is banished. She disguises herself as a man and flees with Frederick’s daughter Celia and Touchstone to the Forest of Arden. Orlando, running from jealous older brother Oliver, heads for the forest too... and the plot thickens.
EODS is once again setting up home in the Italian Gardens where Shakespeare has been performed for over 50 years, and presents its 15th production of the Bard’s work here.
The EODS cast - from new recruits Sam Webb and Leigh Jordan to veterans Bryan Ayres and Tony Bannister - is itching to perform in front of a live audience. Bryan first joined EODS in 1957 and has graced many a production over the years, most recently appearing in High Society at the Devonshire Park Theatre. Tony has appeared for more years than he cares to remember, but is delighted to be back in one of his favourite outdoor venues.
Musicians have joined rehearsals, and Katya Rogers and Noah Brittan are thrilled to be back, having made their debut for EODS last year. They are joined by EODS rookies Sophie and Billy Nicholles, keen to continue the family tradition of performing outdoor Shakespeare; their father Dave having most recently appeared in Twelfth Night as the mischievous Feste. Assisting them in producing the perfect music for this idyllic location is musical director Michael Cullen.
The Italian Gardens can be accessed either by a path leading down from the Crow’s Nest on the Seafront which involves steps, or by the access road by the lower side of Helen Gardens. Arrive early and bring a picnic or sample home-made cakes, tea, coffee, wine and beer.
Performances are at 7.30pm from July 27 - August 6. August (No performance Sunday July 31) All audience seating is undercover. Tickets from £13- £18 are now available online www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk or by visiting or calling The Congress Theatre box office 01323 412000.