2016 - Love's Labours Lost
The King of Navarre and three companions commit to a life of study and self-improvement for three years, giving up women, sleep, and food.
Yet the King has forgotten that the Princess of France – complete with her train of ladies-in-waiting – is due to arrive on a pre-arranged visit. It isn’t long before the ladies’ charms begin to win over the King and his men…
The Princess senses some fun can be had. Letters are switched; the men disguise themselves as Russians; the ladies swap places; and fast-talking proves oaths to be negotiable.
In this war of the sexes, how can one prove their love when words are so malleable by a quick wit?
Working on Love’s Labours Lost has been a true labour of love, uncovering a diamond where some have seen a lump of coal. One of the features of LLL that makes it both difficult and beautifully unique is its language. Shakespeare consciously used (and parodied) ‘euphemistic’ language – heightened Elizabethan prose that played on rhetorical figures of sound or vocal ornament. In that sense, the play is very much a product of its time, which influenced my decision to give the play an Elizabethan aesthetic.
I also chose to entirely cross-cast the play. Doing so challenges both the actors and our assumptions about gender, but retains the ‘war of the sexes’ plotline. Thematically, I find LLL both strikingly modern (a three-year term of study in order to gain ‘fame’ calls to mind the length of a University degree) and surprisingly timeless. LLL questions what constitutes a good life; is it through pleasure and indulgence? or dedicating oneself to study? You can decide for yourself, but I interpret the unusual ending as a way of restoring a natural balance between the two.
This has been a great opportunity for me as a Director. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has been a part of creating this show, and thank you, the audience, for sharing it with us. I hope that you enjoy this strange, multi-faceted gem that we have uncovered, cut, and polished for your pleasure!
Director - Ania Upstill
Producer - Sally Thorburn
Production Manager - Neal Barber
Stage Manager - Shaneel Sidal
Assistant Stage Manager - Cordelia Black
2D Designer - Elle Beeden
Set Designer - Lou Mustaers-Hoyte
Costume Designer - Amelia Taverner
Lighting Designer - Aisha Atherton
Design Coordinator - Helen Mackenzie
Marketing Manager - Victoria Barton-Chapple
Front of House Manager - Lisa Taylor
Wardrobe Supervisor - Sylvia Gilbert-Potts
Head Seamstress - Jane Mackenzie
Music Composition - Vincent Wong
The Court of Navarre
King, Ferdinand of Navarre - India Loveday
Dumaine, a lord attending the King - Morgan Collins
Longaville, a lord attending the King - Lydia Verschaffelt
Berowne, a lord attending the King Sarah Burton
Don Armado, a Spanish knight and braggart - Minnie Grace
Moth, Armado’s page Ameeshar-Rose Kipa
Costard, a clown - Hilary Penwarden
Dull, a constable Phoebe Blaze Callanan
Jaquenetta, a dairymaid Devon Nuku
Holofernes, a schoolmistress - Brandon Mikel
Nathaniel, a curate Shirley Domb
Forester, in the King’s park Eden Christie
The Court of the Princess of France
Princess, of France - Jordan Schmidt
Katherine, a Lady attending the Princess Keegan Fitzgibbon
Maria, a Lady attending the Princess Donald James
Rosaline, a Lady attending the Princess Hamish Boyle
Boyet, a Lord attending the Princess Camilia Hayek
Mercade, a page and messenger - Maddie Brooks Gillespie