Not-so incidental music

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On opening night at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, the festival stage was draped in Art Deco silks, and its horizon bedecked with wild touches of Magritte and Dali, to tell a magical story of court intrigue, banishment, love and redemption.

But this production of Shakespeare's "As You Like It" was also a feast of music. With screaming abandon, Justin Ellington turned the many songs in Shakespeare's play into a fullstage romp in the style of '20s and '30s jazz. And when the comic Touchstone grabbed a bass and thumped along, the crowd went crazy.  

Why is music so often slighted in Shakespeare? Clearly he placed tremendous importance on it. Justin talks about his project here:

 

 

(c) Stratford Shakespeare Festival, David Hou

Members of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival company