Love’s Labour’s Lost
Reviewed – 6th March 2018
“an attempt to add a modern twist to this play felt half-hearted”
Wrap up warm, pick up a mulled wine with your tickets and readily accept as many of the fleece blankets on offer as you can. This venue is chilly! Unfolds Theatre brings one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies to the historic setting of the Rose Playhouse.
The King of Navarre and his two companions undertake a pact to renounce all female company for three years and devote themselves to their studies. However, three years turns out to be more like three minutes when the devilish Princess of France arrives with her two mischievous friends. Quickly they captivate the men with their quick wit and flirtatious behaviour. The play follows the usual path of Shakespeare’s comedies with a string of misdirections, mistaken identity and cross wires, ensuring chaos follows.
Notable performances come from Joshua Jewkes playing a slightly smarmy Berowne. Angus Castle-Doughty plays the character of the hapless, clumsy suitor with great comic timing alongside Jordan Leigh-Harris as the impressionable Maria who is the object of his affections.
The subplot, centred around Don Armado lacks any real oomph and doesn’t add anything to the performance. In fact it actually detracts from the main plot and I felt lost during these sections.
There is an attempt to add a modern twist to this play but I felt that this was half-hearted as this is achieved through costume only and I feel they could have gone much further and embraced the 1940s Hollywood glamour theme to greater effect. Perhaps this was a drawback of the venue and development of this theme was hindered by the lack of set? I would have been unaware that this was meant to be set in a 1940s film studio until I read the programme.
Falters occasionally, but all in all an enjoyable seventy five minutes of playful fun from a group of emerging, talented actors.
Reviewed by Angela East
Photography by Natalie Martins
Love’s Labour’s Lost
Rose Playhouse until 24th March