As You Like It banner image
Back to Plays

As You Like It Tickets

Barbican, London4.220 reviews
An imaginative retelling of Shakespeare's As You Like It comes to the Barbican

Keep me updated

We'll tell you as soon as tickets go on sale:

  • Tickets Refunded if your event is cancelled
  • Official tickets from an authorised retailer
  • 100% Secure booking process guaranteed

Shakespeare's romantic comedy As You Like It comes to The Barbican, putting the audience in the heart of the action!

Inventive, playful, captivating… a bonkers trip to the Forest of Arden’ ★★★★ Daily Telegraph

Here is the perfect thing for you if you’re looking for a renowned Shakespeare classic but with an imaginative spin! This romantic comedy is a joyous retelling that really cements the idea of the world being a stage and celebrating theatre as a whole. Book your tickets for As You Like It directed by Kimberley Sykes for its upcoming run at the Barbican beginning 26 October 2019 as part of the RSC's 2019-2020 season.

What is the plot of As You Like It?

As You Like It overthrows the traditional “rules” of romance. Politics, nature and gender roles are all confused in this play, but the one certainty is how mystifying yet completely gratifying life can be. It all begins with a journey into exile after Rosalind is banished but, on the upside, she does have her best friend Celia by her side. However, this isn’t before catching the eye of love-struck Orlando, who happens to have also been banished, forced out from the court and, into the Forest of Arden. This combination is the beginning of a disorderly mash-up of a cross-dressing heroine, a fool in tartan, with melodic songs and enough laughs to go around. As well as the physical comedy and music, there’s storytelling and puppetry, which make this reimagining of As You Like It playful and puts the audience right in the heart of the action.

Who are the creative team behind this production?

Directing will come from National Theatre Studio Directors Course graduate Kimberley Sykes. Her work as an assistant director includes The Amen Corner (National Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Shakespeare Company/West End), City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse) and My Perfect Mind (The Young Vic). Her credits as a director include Lomki (Southwark Playhouse), SATB (Soho Theatre) and Dido; Queen of Carthage (Royal Shakespeare Company/Swan Theatre).

Completing the creative team is Stephen Brimson Lewis on set design, Bretta Gerecke on costumes and lighting, Tim Sutton on music, Jonathan Ruddick on sound, Ayse Tashkiran on movement, Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown on fights and Mervyn Millar on puppetry.

Let’s meet the As You Like It cast

Playing Orlando is David Ajao who has worked in various fields, including theatre, film, television and radio. Ajao regularly works on Royal Shakespeare Company productions, his previous works include Hecuba, Othello and The Merchant of Venice. Other theatre works include Barber Shop Chronicles (National Theatre/International Tour), Primetime (Royal Court) and Romeo and Juliet (Box Clever).

The role of Rosalind will be played by Lucy Phelps whose previous RSC credits include Julius Caesar, Antony & Cleopatra and Dido; Queen of Carthage. Her other theatre work includes Witness for the Prosecution (County Hall), Viva Forever! (Piccadilly Theatre) and Earthquakes in London (National Theatre). She has also worked in television on popular series such as Call the Midwife, Silent Witness and Skins.  

Joining Ajao and Phelps in the cast are Charlotte Arrowsmith (Troilus and Cressida), Patrick Brennan (Hamlet, Downton Abbey), Richard Clews (Julius Caesar), Tom Dawze (The Soldier’s Tale) and Amelia Donkor (The 39 Steps). Completing the cast will be Laura Elsworthy, Sandy Grierson, Emily Johnstone, Karina Jones, Alex Jones, Sophie Khan Levy, Sophie Stanton, Aaron Thiara and Leo Wan.

As You Like It RSC Barbican tickets available now!

Come and see the usual rules of romance thrown aside in this retelling of a Shakespeare classic, and don't miss the other Shakespeare shows playing at the Barbican. Purchase your As You Like It tickets now to see Kimberley Sykes’ imaginative, playful and passionate rendition of this much-loved romantic comedy.

Gallery photo credits: Photos by Topher McGrillis (c) RSC

***Also part of the 2019-2020 RSC season at The Barbican are Shakespeare's Measure for Measure and The Taming of the Shrew.

Additional Information

Age restriction

To be confirmed.

Running time

2hr 56min (inc. interval)

Performance dates

26 October 2019 - 18 January 2020

Special notes

The RSC’s London production of As You Like It is kindly supported by ICBC (London)


A "chilled performance" will be held on 5 December 2019. An audio-described and captioned performance with Touch Tour (11.15am) will be held on Saturday, 28 December at 1.15pm. A BSL-integrated performance will be held on Tuesday, 7 January 2020 at 7.15pm. A BSL-interpreted post-show talk will be held on Tuesday, 7 January 2020 that is free for same-day ticket holders.

Venue Information

BarbicanSilk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS

Customer Reviews

20 reviews4.2

customer8th January

The theatre was much too hot where I was sitting; I had trouble keeping awake. The production was a bit too "experimental". That's fine for native English speakers, but for others it can be confusing.

Miss K A Siipilehto8th January

Touch of old and new. Liked the interaction between the audience.

Antoinette Norman6th January

Performance was lively and entertaining with nice musical interludes. The payers engaged with the audience very well. We found the theatre very hot and the audience very fidgety as a result. May be because the lights were up for much of the performance.

Mrs Claire Lachowicz5th January

A very accessible production and enjoyed the Panto - like approach. Some great performances The first half better than the second half - but that's down to Shakespeare - or whoever padded the text out! Comfortable seat and an excellent view.

customer5th January

Excellent day out.

Trefor Brayley5th January

Superbly acted, interesting interpretation

Colin Newey29th December

easy to use, conformation prompt. Theatre could not find tickets even though had confirmation. Eventually confirmed booking, still could not find tickets. Manager called, he was unable to find tickets and gave us an upgrade. He did apologise fir the loss and delay.

Madeleine Michaelson29th December

A truly enjoyable performance. I think that the RSC has caught the essence of this play. It is in modern dress which I don't usually like but in this instance it actually enhances the performance. There is also much more audience participation than is usual for Shakespeare productions but which nevertheless works well. I would highly recommend.

Chris Karunaratna20th December

We didn't really know what to expect, having not seen As You Like It before, nor having been to the Barbican Theatre. The production was superb, quite modern and a mimimalist set, very humourous and thoroughly enjoyable. The theatre is also one of the best we've been to.

Fred Tarttelin20th December

Tried to be too clever, too ‘original’ with backstage set, costumes, props etc. A completely empty stage would have been better. The gender changes didn’t work either, especially in the character of Jacques. The overall casting was uneven: some actors simply didn’t project their voices, difficult to hear even from front stalls. Felt very let down and disappointed with this show, especially as I’d travelled from Oxford to see it.

Roland belgrave11th December

i was sadly very disappointed due to the audience around me completely ruining the show. On their mobile phones throughout and just talking through the entire three hours!!

Dr. Pesei Attila11th December

Wonderful atmosphere, brilliant performance - first time in Barbican but not last!