Casey Donovan finds her inner Bard

Five years after becoming the youngest winner of the TV talent show Australian Idol, Casey Donovan is testing her ability as an actor.

She currently is performing in As You Like It for Belvoir – her first Shakespeare play.

“It’s quite daunting for me coming into a room where everyone has either done (Shakespeare) before or knows more about it,” she admits. “But it’s always good to give yourself a challenge and it’s been great working with everybody and learning.

“It’s very exciting. Who would have thought seven years ago that I’d be doing Shakespeare?”

Donovan is finding the production surprisingly accessible. “I think, ‘OK, well if I can understand it, my family and friends will understand it, and my fans who’ve never seen Shakespeare before will understand it,”‘ she says.

As You Like It is a rom-com in which a group of characters including Rosalind, disguised as a boy, flee the court to the Forest of Arden and discover their true selves.

Donovan plays the wench Audrey, who is wooed by the court jester Touchstone, played by impressive young actor Charlie Garber – whose credits include Neighbourhood Watch for Belvoir, The Merchant of Venice for Bell Shakespeare and the TV series Spirited.

The production is directed by Eamon Flack, who had a big success at Belvoir St Downstairs in 2009 with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which he staged like a zany backyard party complete with karaoke songs and contemporary expletives.

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