The Stage Abroad: Men Without Women

Like many of Shakespeare's other comedies, the rickety plot of As You Like It involves a heroine who assumes masculine disguise. According to Polish Critic Jan Kott, much of the ribaldry, irony and ambiguity of this transvestite change is lost on modern audiences, who are accustomed to seeing females in female roles. In the 17th century the roles of women were invariably played by boys.

Inspired by Kott's theories, London's National Theater Company last week staged a version of As You Like It in which all four female parts were played by...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!