2016 - Love's Labour's Lost

12th – 27th February 2016
The Dell, Wellington Botanical Gardens

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?

Director's Note

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!

Ania

PRODUCTION TEAM​

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

CAST

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

Gallery