Internet Shakespeare Editions

Shakespeare in Performance: Stage Production

As You Like It (1740, The Drury Lane Company)

TitleAs You Like It
Theater CompanyThe Drury Lane Company
Release LocationsUK
Start Date1740
End Date1741
Play ConnectionsAs You Like It (performance)


With Hannah Pritchard as Rosalind at Drury Lane in 1740, AYL recovered some of its accustomed shape. Even so, Celia, played by Kitty Clive, sang the "cuckoo" song (that had previously been imported from the end of Love's Labor's Lost into Love in a Forest) to accompany Thomas Arne's delightful settings of "Under the greenwood tree" and "Blow, blow, thou winter wind" in 2.5 and 2.7. Dances and a pantomime entitled Robin Goodfellow enlivened the festivities. The play became a special favorite at Drury Lane, appearing more often there from 1776 to 1817 than any other Shakespeare play; indeed, it was absent only thrice in forty-one seasons. The tradition of importing songs continued on into the early nineteenth century, so much so that AYL became virtually operatic: included were "Full many a glorious morning" (Sonnet 33), "Tell me where is fancy bred?" (The Merchant of Venice, 32.63), and "Where the bee sucks" (The Tempest, 5.1.88), along with those that had been added earlier. Covent Garden did well in this operatic vein; Frederic Reynolds's production there in 1824 featured the music of Henry Bishop and Thomas Arne. Jaques clung to the "sobbing deer" speech until William Charles Macready's production at Drury Lane in 1842, when it was finally restored to the First Lord. Sir Oliver Martext and Hymen generally retired to the sidelines, and Phoebe's part was cut back. Much of this was codified in John Philip Kemble's acting edition of 1820.

David Bevington — Added 2011-07-15

Cast Overview

Duke SeniorWilliam Mills
RosalindMrs. Hannah Pritchard
Duke FrederickWright
CaeliaMrs. Kitty Clive
Oliver de BoysCashel
Jaquez de BoysTurbutt
Orlando de BoysWilliam Milward
AdamEdward Berry
Le BeauRidout
Lord AmiensLowe
Lord JaquesJames Quin
PhaebeMrs. Bennet
AudryMrs. Egerton

Production Team and Crew Overview

SetsMr. Thomas Arne

Company Overview

Theater Company The Drury Lane Company