2016 Love’s Labour’s 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?

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!


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

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

< Back to List