As You Like It

Directed by Karen Carleton
Performed in:
Killruddery (Sylvan Theatre & Orangery) 30 June - 1 July 2022 and
St Enda's Park, 6-9 July 2022

Two wonderful venues and three performances spaces – thanks to the weather!

The Balally Players outdoor productions of some of the most popular Shakespeare plays returned in 2022 with performances of 'As You Like It'. After the break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was great to be able to recreate The Forest of Arden in the gardens of Killruddery House and the Walled Gardens of St Enda's Park at the end of June and early July.

As You Like It (2022) in St Enda's Park Some of the cast taking their bow at the end of a performance in the Walled Garden of St Enda's Park.
Front row (l-r) Máirín O’Sullivan, Brendan Phelan, Aisling Ní Fhoghlú and Peter O’Brien. Photograph: Dara Hogan

The summer weather ranged from cool, overcast and showery in the first week to bright, sunny and very warm in the second week. That resulted in the use of two different performance spaces in Killruddery. The weather in Rathfarnham for the shows in St Enda's Park allowed the four nights there to be performed outside in the Walled Garden.

As You Like It - in Killruddery House
Balally Players Summer Shakespeare presentation for 2022 in the grounds of Killruddery House, Bray, Co Wicklow.

The play, directed by Karen Carleton, was performed first in Killruddery Sylvan Theatre, in the grounds of Killruddery House, Southern Cross, Bray, Co Wicklow. The Killruddery performances were on 30 June and 1 July.

In Killruddery, on Thursday 30 June, the sun shone and the rain stayed away for the performance outdoors in the Sylvan Theatre. The following evening, however, the start of July brought clouds and showers. Undaunted, the company moved into the spectacular Orangery in Killruddery for an indoor performance on 1 July.

Killruddery House & Gardens is situated 20Kms south of Dublin, just beyond Bray in Co. Wicklow. The Earl and Countess of Meath, Lord and Lady Ardee and the Brabazon family have been living at Killruddery since 1618. By opening the beautiful house and gardens to visitor attractions, such as this Balally Players presentation, and operating the estate as a working farm and a private hire venue for weddings and corporate events, the family hopes to keep it alive and well for the future.

From Wed 6 to Sat 9 July, the performances were in the Walled Gardens of St. Enda's Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16.

As You Like It - in St Enda's Park
Balally Players Summer Shakespeare presentation for 2022 in the Walled Garden of St Enda's Park, Rathfarnham.

The Pearse Museum and St Enda’s Park was where Patrick Pearse lived and ran his innovative Irish-speaking school, Scoil Éanna, between 1910-16. The museum and park are approximately 8Km from Dublin City Centre. For more about the venue, visit the Pearse Museum website.

Rosalind and her cousin escape into the forest and find Orlando, Rosalind's love. Disguised as a boy shepherd, Rosalind has Orlando woo her under the guise of 'curing' him of his love for Rosalind, who reveals she is a girl and marries Orlando during a group wedding at the end of the play.

William Shakespeare's 'As You Like It' is a pastoral comedy, which was written sometime around 1600. In the intervening years it has continued to be one of the Bard's most popular plays.

“Love is merely a madness…”

The central theme of ‘As You Like It’, in common with other Shakespearean comedies, is love. Here it is represented in some of its many and varied forms from romantic and courtly love, to sisterly, brotherly, and fatherly love – everything from that which flowers at first sight, to the unrequited variety that never blossoms.

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

Weaving its way in and out of this tangled web of romance is a tale of trouble and intrigue at court. Rivalry between two families, Touchstone's wise foolery, Jaques' cynical jibes, and Corin's practical insights, all contribute to Shakespeare's distinctive approach to romantic comedy with entertaining prose, verse, and a tune or two along the way.

You can view and/or download a copy of the programme as a PDF file here.

The photographs below were taken at the dress rehearsal on Wednesday 19 June 2019.

Killruddery House performance on 1 July 2022. Photography: © Declan Brennan
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Twenty members of Balally Players were involved on stage presenting this play, with over twelve more working behind the scenes. The production also due on the services of some others outside the group.

Cast of 'As You Like It'
* Orlando stand-in
First Lady /Attendant / Singer
Page / Wench /Attendant / Singer
Duke Frederick / Sir Oliver
Charles / Hymen / Forester
Le Beau / Silvius
Duke Senior
Amiens / Attendant / Singer
William / Attendant / Singer
The Forest 
Máirín O’Sullivan
Aisling Ní Fhoghlú
Sean Murphy
Brendan Phelan
Peter O’Brien
Lauren Devine
Tony Matthews
Sarah Groarke
Richard Stowe
Óran O’Rua
Michael Mitchell
Declan Rudden
Michael McHugh
Gary Wall
Matias Köhlmeier
Barry O’Connor
Aisling Finn
Michelle Howard
Ryan Kelly
Tony McGettigan
Production Team for 'As You Like It'
Stage Manager
Fight Director
Karen Carleton
Manager Una Twyford
Aoife Braiden
Dympna Murray
Bebhinn Whelan
Aoife Braiden
Teresa Dempsey
Doris Cullen
Joanne Keane
Patrick Hand
Declan Brennan
Paul Macken
Jay Cosgrave
Nicole McDonald
* Stand-in for Sean Murphy. Sean was due to play Orlando in all the shows, but he had to bow out of the Killruddery performances and some of those in St Enda's Park because of COVID-19, which continued to have an impact on this and many other events throughout the year. Sean's place was taken by Brendan Phelan, who stood in at very short notice to read the part.


As You Like It (2022)
Aisling Ní Fhoghlú and Máirín O’Sullivan in a promotional shoot for the play. Photo: Declan Brennan