David Lan, Artistic Director of the Young Vic, directs Helen McCrorySienna Miller, Dominic West and Reece Shearsmith in a new production of Shakespeare’s great romantic comedy, As You Like It

David Lan’s production sets As You Like It in late1940’s France. The court of the Duke, exiled to the forest of Arden (the Ardennes), are philosophers and poets of Paris cafĂ© society. Their songs are in the style of the music of Yves Montand and Edith Piaf. The violence in this dark romance is the memory of the second world war. 

Rosalind (disguised as a boy) goes into the forest in search of her father and finds Orlando, with whom she is infatuated, also fleeing tyranny. She offers to cure him of his obsession with her. Thus begins Shakespeare’s great comedy of young love. 

Multi award-winning Helen McCrory, one of the most exciting actresses of her generation, plays Rosalind. Her extensive theatre work includes Five Gold Rings, Platonov and The Triumph of Love for the Almeida, Old Times, Twelfth Night and Uncle Vanya and How I Learned to Drive for the Donmar Warehouse, as well as Fuente Ovejuna and The Seagull for the National Theatre and Les Enfants du Paradis for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Her film and television work includes Casanova, Enduring Love, Charles II, Carla, The Jury, North Square, Anna Karenina and Charlotte Gray.           

Sienna Miller, who plays Celia, was born in New York and trained at the Lee Strasberg Institute. Her theatre work in New York includes Independence, A School for Scandal and Cigarettes and Chocolate. Late last year she starred opposite Jude Law in Alfie and she has most recently completed filming Lasse Halstrom’s Casanova. Her other film and television work includes Layer Cake, High Speed and Joyrider.

Dominic West, who plays Orlando, returns to British theatre after a hugely successful US film and television career most notably playing Detective Officer James “Jimmy” McNulty, the leading role in HBO’s award-winning The Wire. His theatre work includes Design for Living on Broadway, A Country Wife for Sheffield Theatres, The Silver Tassie for the Almeida, De La Guarda at the Roundhouse and at the Old Vic The Seagull for which he won the Ian Charleson Award, Cloud Nine and Waste. His film work includes The Forgotten in which he starred opposite Julianne Moore, Mona Lisa Smile with Julia Roberts as well as Chicago, Rockstar and Surviving Picasso. His other television work includes Nicholas Nickleby and Out of Hours.

Reece Shearsmith, who plays Jaques, is a quarter of the hugely successful and award-winning comedy team The League of Gentlemen. Reece originates from Hull and graduated from Bretton Hall Drama College with a BA(hons) in Theatre Arts. In 2001 Reece Shearsmith appeared in the West End in the sell-out run of League of Gentleman at Theatre Royal Drury Lane and in 2002 he played Yvan in Art at the Whitehall Theatre. He will make his classical stage debut as Jaques in As You Like It. His television work includes 3 series of The League of Gentleman for BBC TV as co-writer and actor and appearances in the critically acclaimed Catterick (Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer’s BBC road trip comedy series) and Channel 4’s much loved Spaced. His film work includes Birthday Girl, Shaun of the Dead and in April of this year sees the release of a major new film, The League of Gentleman’s Apocalypse, in which he stars and co-writes.

David Lan is Artistic Director of the Young Vic where he has directed many productions including ‘Tis Pity She's a Whore and Doctor Faustus (both with Jude Law), The Daughter-in-Law (with Anne- Marie Duff and Paul Hilton)and A Raisin in the Sunwhich is currently enjoying a huge success at the Lyric Hammersmith before a UK Tour. In 2004 the Young Vic received an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Sonia Friedman Productions, Phil Cameron for Background with Tulchin/ Bartner Productions in association with The Young Vic present “AS YOU LIKE IT”.