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As You Like It

  • Object:

    Set design

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (designed)

  • Date:

    1991 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ormerod, Nick (theatre designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil and crayon on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Theatre & Performance, Room 104, case WE, shelf EXP

Design by Nick Ormerod for the Wrestling scene in As You Like It, Cheek by Jowl tours, 1991-1992 and 1994-1995.

This production of As You Like It was staged by the Cheek by Jowl theatre company and directed by Declan Donnellan, who co-founded the company with the designer, Nick Ormerod. Cheek by Jowl productions were notable for their simplicity of design and for their focus on the actor as storyteller, and As You Like It was a perfect example of the company's style, using Ormerod's white box set and forest of green hangings to create a simple, unobtrusive location for the action. The play began and ended with the whole acting company on stage. Dressed in basic black trousers and white shirts, they were clearly actors presenting a story to an audience which was required to use its imagination and participate in the illusion. The all-male production was first staged in 1991, toured extensively, and was revived in 1994 and taken on a further world tour which ended in London at the Albery Theatre. The freshness of the approach, and a fine Rosalind from Adrian Lester, won it critical plaudits. Nicholas de Jongh of the Evening Standard wrote that it would "define the play for the 1990s".

Physical description

Design for the Wrestling scene in As You Like It (Act I, scene ii), showing a box set, with a group of male figures centre stage holding a rope or hoop to form a wrestling ring and the two combatants (Orlando and Charles) standing within the ring. In the bottom right hand corner of the design stand two female figures, one in blue (Celia) and one in red (Rosalind). The design is untitled and is mounted on black card.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (designed)


1991 (drawn)


Ormerod, Nick (theatre designer)

Materials and Techniques

Pencil and crayon on paper


Height: 10.5 cm design, Width: 14.8 cm design

Object history note

This design is one of a collection of designs for Shakespeare's As You Like it given to the museum by the touring theatre company, Cheek by Jowl, which staged the production in 1991-1992 and 1994-1995.

Descriptive line

Design by Nick Ormerod for the Wrestling scene in As You Like It, Cheek by Jowl tours, 1991-1992 and 1994-1995

Labels and date


Productions by the touring theatre company Cheek by Jowl are known for their simplicity of design, and for placing the focus on the script and the performances. In this all-male production, a bare stage represented winter in the Forest of Arden. Hanging green banners set the scene in spring.

Play by William Shakespeare, 1599
Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company, on tour

Paper, pencil and crayon
Designed by Nick Ormerod (born 1951)
Given by Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company
Museum nos. S.201 to 206-1999 [October 2013]


Pencil; Crayon; Paper


Drawing (image-making)


Entertainment & Leisure; Designs; Theatre

Production Type



Theatre and Performance Collection

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