as you like it
Take a look at the audition pieces below. Please note that all auditions will be considered for all appropriate roles, and that you may be asked to read for a different character. Please prepare at least one piece (doesn't have to be memorised), print-outs will be available at the audition.
For PHEBE/AMIENS and CORIN/GOD auditions, please also prepare an acapella or self accompanied folk song.
Gender blind casting, unless specified
Duke Senior / William
Duke Frederick / Sir Oliver Martext
Silvius / Charles / Soldier 4 / Lord 2 (M)
Corin / Goddess / Lord 1
Adam / Audrey / Soldier 3
Phebe / Amiens / Soldier 2 / Lord 3
Jaques / Le Beau / Soldier 1
Click to download a PDF of all audition pieces
PIECE 1 - ROSALIND / ORLANDO
Will you, Orlando, have to wife this Rosalind?
Ay, but when?
Why now; as fast as she can marry us.
Then you must say 'I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.'
I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.
I do take thee, Orlando, for my husband. Now tell me how long you would have her after you have possessed her.
For ever and a day.
Say 'a day,' without the 'ever.' No, no, Orlando; men are April when they woo, December when they wed: maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives. I will be more jealous of thee than a Barbary cock-pigeon over his hen, , more new-fangled than an ape, more giddy in my desires than a monkey: I will weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain, and I will do that when you are disposed to be merry; I will laugh like a hyen, and that when thou art inclined to sleep.
But will my Rosalind do so?
By my life, she will do as I do.
For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave thee.
Alas! dear love, I cannot lack thee two hours.
I must attend the duke at dinner: by two o'clock I will be with thee again.
Ay, go your ways, go your ways; I knew what you would prove: my friends told me as much, and I thought no less: that flattering tongue of yours won me: 'tis but one cast away, and so, come, death! Two o'clock is your hour?
Ay, sweet Rosalind.
By my troth, and in good earnest, and so God mend me, and by all pretty oaths that are not dangerous, if you break one jot of your promise or come one minute behind your hour, I will think you the most pathetical break-promise and the most hollow lover and the most unworthy of her you call Rosalind:
therefore beware my censure and keep your promise.
PIECE 2 - OLIVER / ORLANDO
Know you where your are, sir?
O, sir, very well; here in your orchard.
Know you before whom, sir?
Ay, better than him I am before knows me. I know you are my eldest brother; and, in the gentle condition of blood, you should so know me. The courtesy of nations allows you my better, in that you are the first-born; but the same tradition takes not away my blood, were there twenty brothers betwixt us: I have as much of my father in me as you; albeit, I confess, your coming before me is nearer to his reverence.
Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.
Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?
I am no villain; I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys; he was my father, and he is thrice a villain that says such a father begot villains. Wert thou not my brother, I would not take this hand from thy throat till this other had pulled out thy tongue for saying so: thou hast railed on thyself.
Let me go, I say.
I will not, till I please: you shall hear me. My father charged you in his will to give me good education: you have trained me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in me, and I will no longer endure it: therefore allow me such exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor allottery my father left me by testament; with that I will go buy my fortunes.
And what wilt thou do? beg, when that is spent? Well, sir, get you in: I will not long be troubled with you; you shall have some part of your will: I pray you, leave me
PIECE 3 - ROSALIND / CELIA
Didst thou hear these verses?
O, yes, I heard them all, and more too; for some of them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.
That's no matter: the feet might bear the verses.
Ay, but the feet were lame and could not bear themselves without the verse and therefore stood lamely in the verse.
But didst thou hear without wondering how thy name should be hanged and carved upon these trees?
I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder before you came; for look here what I found. I was never so be-rhymed.
Know you who hath done this?
Is it a man?
And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck.
Change you colour?
I prithee, who?
O Lord, Lord!
Nay, but who is it?
Is it possible?
Nay, I prithee now with most petitionary vehemence, tell me who it is.
O wonderful, wonderful, and yet again wonderful!
Good my complexion! Dost thou think, though I am caparisoned like a man, I have a doublet and hose in my disposition? One inch of delay more is a South-sea of discovery; I prithee, tell me who is it quickly, and speak apace. Is he of God's making? What manner of man? Is his head worth a hat, or his chin worth a beard?
Nay, he hath but a little beard.
Let me stay the growth of his beard, if thou delay me not the knowledge of his chin.
It is young Orlando.
PIECE 4 - AUDREY / TOUCHSTONE
Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.
I do not know what 'poetical' is: is it honest in deed and word? is it a true thing?
No, truly; for the truest poetry is the most feigning; and lovers are given to poetry, and what they swear in poetry may be said as lovers they do feign.
Do you wish then that the gods had made me poetical?
I do, truly; for thou swearest to me thou art honest: now, if thou wert a poet, I might have some hope thou didst feign.
Would you not have me honest?
No, truly, unless thou wert hard-favoured; for honesty coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar.
Well, I am not fair; and therefore I pray the gods make me honest.
Truly, and to cast away honesty upon a foul slut were to put good meat into an unclean dish.
I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am foul.
Well, praised be the gods for thy foulness, sluttishness may come hereafter.
PIECE 5 - PHEBE / AUDREY
I would not be thy executioner:
I fly thee, for I would not injure thee.
Thou tell'st me there is murder in mine eye:
'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable,
That eyes, that are the frail'st and softest things,
Who shut their coward gates on atomies,
Should be call'd tyrants, butchers, murderers!
Now I do frown on thee with all my heart;
And if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee:
Now counterfeit to swoon; why now fall down;
Or if thou canst not, O, for shame, for shame,
Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers!
Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee:
Scratch thee but with a pin, and there remains
Some scar of it; lean but upon a rush,
The cicatrice and capable impressure
Thy palm some moment keeps; but now mine eyes,
Which I have darted at thee, hurt thee not,
Nor, I am sure, there is no force in eyes
That can do hurt.
PIECE 6 - SILVIUS
What 'tis to love?
It is to be all made of sighs and tears;
And so am I for Phebe.
It is to be all made of faith and service;
And so am I for Phebe.
It is to be all made of fantasy, All made of passion and all made of wishes, All adoration, duty, and observance, All humbleness, all patience and impatience, All purity, all trial, all observance; And so am I for Phebe.
PIECE 7 - JAQUES
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything
PIECE 8 - ROSALIND
Love is merely a madness, and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do: and the reason why they are not so punished and cured is, that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers are in love too. Yet I profess curing it by counsel. I cured one in this manner. He was to imagine me his love, his mistress; and I set him every day to woo me: at which time would I, being but a moonish youth, grieve, be effeminate, changeable, longing and liking, proud, fantastical, apish, shallow, inconstant, full of tears, full of smiles, for every passion something and for no passion truly anything, as boys and women are for the most part cattle of this colour; would now like him, now loathe him; then entertain him, then forswear him; now weep for him, then spit at him; that I drave my suitor from his mad humour of love to a living humour of madness; which was, to forswear the full stream ofthe world, and to live in a nook merely monastic. And thus I cured him; and this way will I take upon me to wash your liver as clean as a sound sheep's heart, that there shall not be one spot of love in't. I would cure you, if you would but call me Rosalind and come every day to my cote and woo me.
PIECE 9 - CELIA
Prithee be cheerful: know'st thou not, the duke
Hath banish'd me, his daughter?
No, hath not? Rosalind lacks then the love
Which teacheth thee that thou and I am one:
Shall we be sunder'd? shall we part, sweet girl?
No: let my father seek another heir.
Therefore devise with me how we may fly,
Whither to go and what to bear with us;
And do not seek to take your change upon you,
To bear your griefs yourself and leave me out;
For, by this heaven, now at our sorrows pale,
Say what thou canst, I'll go along with thee
PIECE 10 - DUKE FREDERICK
Mistress, dispatch you with your safest haste
And get you from our court.
Within these ten days if that thou be'st found
So near our public court as twenty miles,
Thou diest for it.
I do beseech your grace,
Let me the knowledge of my fault bear with me:
Did I offend your highness?
Thus do all traitors:
Let it suffice thee that I trust thee not.
Yet your mistrust cannot make me a traitor.
Thou art thy father's daughter; there's enough.
So was I when your highness took his dukedom;
So was I when your highness banish'd him:
Treason is not inherited, my lord;
Or, if we did derive it from our friends,
What's that to me? My father was no traitor!
Firm and irrevocable is my doom
Which I have pass'd upon her; she is banish'd.
PIECE 11 - DUKE SENIOR
Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
'This is no flattery: these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.'
And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in everything.
I would not change it.
PIECE 12 - CORIN
No more but that I know the more one sickens the worse at ease he is; and that he that wants money, means and content is without three good friends; that the property of rain is to wet and fire to burn; that good pasture makes fat sheep, and that a great cause of the night is lack of the sun. Sir, I am a true labourer: I earn that I eat, get that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my harm, and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes graze and my lambs suck.