AS YOU LIKE IT was a huge box-office success maintaining over 80% occupancy during the season. It came at just the right time as La Boite's Artistic Director Jim Vilé had been battling tight budgets all year and was facing the unpleasant prospect of cutting staff or staff wages. In the event it only took this one great success to put the budget back on track. It was a big boost to morale and allowed the year to end on an optimistic financial note. "It was Shakespeare who saved us!" said Jim in his AD's Report on the 1987 season.
In the Director's Program Notes, Jim Vilé wrote this about his production:
AS YOU LIKE IT is a play for today. No amount of gear-shifting in the global economy will renew trust in life. No amount of re-adjustment in job-creation schemes will add to the dignity of existence. No amount of restructuring the education system to suit the market place will encourage intellectual honesty. As in AS YOU LIKE IT, the world has gone too far in a negative direction to be rescued through tinkering at the peripheries. Only by returning to basics can humanity with any semblance of hope look towards a future.
AS YOU LIKE IT is all about the future. The play celebrates the fact that life is an ever-evolving cycle. It might slow down at times, but we are never at a stand-still, and while there is motion there is hope. AS YOU LIKE IT, in its own small way provides the courage to leave the sour, neurotic winter court of the Eighties behind us, in order to stride energetically into the uncharted freedom of a new spring. Through laughter, ribaldry and wit we are reminded that objectivity is essential: we must realise that this new future is up to us. We alone can make life worth living.
Source: AS YOU LIKE IT Program, 1987.