Custom/Practice and Graffiti Productions are relatively young in theatre years, but youth brings the kind of energy and enthusiasm that Shakespeare thrives upon. After a few initial stumbles, the cast find their feet in Shakespeare's pastoral comedy about a group of young people who somehow manage to combine being banished into exile with falling in love.
The untiring cast maintain momentum throughout. Olivia Scott-Taylor's exuberant Celia very nearly upstages her best friend and fellow exile, principal girl Rosalind, played by Rebecca Loudon. Scott-Taylor speaks Shakespearean English as if it were her mother tongue. But Loudon also grows into her role, ultimately exuding all the confidence necessary of the strong-minded cross-dressing lead.
The stand-out performance comes from James Hayward, who plays three different parts with attentive focus and faultless speech throughout. The 13-strong cast alternate roles and in Rosalind's case genders with ease. And this intimate space suits a Shakespeare production that is small but has plenty of charm and humour.