Kiwi as ewe like it

TALIA CARLISLE
Last updated 11:01 15/11/2012
Lamb1
Shakespeare's sheep: Touchstone and the Duke (Malcolm Gillett and Tim Papps) adjust differently to farm life in "Wiremu" Shakespeare's As You Like It.

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Lindale Farm's animals have turned models for a Shakespeare production opening in Wellington next week.

As You Like It uses a Kiwi theme and is set on a farm instead of a forest, making Lindale the perfect spot for their photo shoot.

Director Benjamin Haddock said it was great chance to get actors into an environment they would not normally put themselves in.

"They were some of the best animals I've ever worked with and I wish some of them could be in the cast."

Haddock said his intention for the play was to capture the fun of As You Like It in a way Shakespeare might have done himself if he visited modern day, rural New Zealand.

"[It's about] shepherds and shepherdesses and the idea that they've got their own sort of rural knowledge, you know, that's different from city people. In New Zealand there's definitely a difference between the country and the city, and I think it's neat to see how the New Zealand country vs city [idea] just fits so well with a play that Shakespeare wrote 400 years ago in England."

The play itself uses the traditional language but has classic Kiwi songs, a sheep-shearing competition instead of a wrestling match, and the Forest of Arden turns into a country pub of the same name.

November 21 to December 1, Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee St. Tickets $15 and $20, or two for $22 on November 22 from iticket.co.nz.

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- Kapiti Observer

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