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As You Like It | Photo: Dahlia Katz

Review of Cliff Cardinal’s "As You Like It"

Written by
Aimée Anctil
and
and
October 5, 2022
Review of Cliff Cardinal’s "As You Like It"
As You Like It | Photo: Dahlia Katz

Cliff Cardinal’s contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ is a much needed take on the classic. The Bard would be more than proud to see what Cliff Cardinal has done to adapt the play into a relevant, witty, and poignant perspective on identity, Canadian ‘allyship’, reconciliation, and Indigeneity. This timely play provides hot takes that will give you whiplash in the best way. The crowd was lively and pensive during the unexpected, but well timed fourth wall breaks and interludes.

The play’s lighting caused visceral reactions to implicate and force the audience to feel as though they were on the hot seat throughout different intervals during the play. These breaks, or rather interrogation periods demand your full attention with responses and reactions outright demanded from you. These moments will leave you morally questioning both yourself and your fellow audience members. Shocking, but intentional twists and turns will leave you cackling, or on the edge of tears. The presenter’s casual demeanour transforms slowly and sometimes suddenly into an eerily somber or stern chilling energy felt across the theatre. Cardinal’s timing and comedic, yet unrelenting, stage presence is a truly time altering experience. The play runs about under 2 hours, but it will feel like far less time has elapsed, which demonstrates just how engaging and captivating Cardinal’s show was. This meta adaptation is incredibly well suited for Peterborough’s population for both residents and students alike. Challenging viewers to question their beliefs and take them out of their comfort zone with a bit of casual, yet necessary, trickery and deception. Cardinal’s devastatingly sharp social commentary and captivating yet humbling anecdotes throughout the adaptation will jarringly leave you in a metaphorical chokehold, and amaze all at once.

This memorable adaptation provokes and challenges both unabashedly and ruthlessly. I cannot recommend this play enough; I’m left shaken, altered, and feeling the reverberations ever since. And might I add, that was one hell of a land acknowledgement. I can’t say I will be looking at them the same way ever again.

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Arthur News School of Fish
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Arthur News School of Fish

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How to customize formatting for each rich text

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