One of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies – believed to have been written in the mid 1590s – Love’s Labour’s Lost is a dazzling parade of every weapon in the youthful playwright’s arsenal, from excruciating cross-purposes and impersonations to drunkenness and bust-ups. It’s a banquet of language, groaning with puns, rhymes and grotesque coinages.
For those in need of a plot refresher, the play follows the King of Navarre and his three friends Berowne, Longaville and Dumaine, who swear themselves to three years of study, abstaining from all distractions, particularly women. But when the Princess of France and her entourage arrive, it isn’t long before the all-male ‘academe’ have broken every one of their self-imposed rules.
Of the comedy, Bagnall says: ‘In Love’s Labour’s Lost, Shakespeare gives us a fairy tale – "Once upon a time there was a king and he had three friends…" The play is a discourse on art versus life. In order for stories to have value, they have to show us something that is real: such as a man falling in love and feeling confused about what love is and hating himself for feeling it. The melancholy within the play lies in the disparity between the story and the reality of life, with its unexpected turns and emotional mess.’
|What||Love’s Labour’s Lost, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse|
|Where||Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, 21 New Globe Walk, London, SE1 9DT | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Blackfriars (underground)|
23 Aug 18 – 15 Sep 18, Times vary
|Website||Click here for more information and tickets|