Friday, November 7, 2008

The Bard is back in Kingston

Love's Labour's Lost, at the Rose; photo credit Nobby Clark

I recently went to see the Rose Theatre's first 'home-grown' production, since their long-awaited opening at the start of the year. Love's Labour's Lost is far from one of Shakespeare's best known works but it's dear to the heart of Director Emeritus, Sir Peter Hall, as it was the first of the Bard's works he directed, at the outset of his career.

Shakespeare had a lot of fun with this work - revelling in wordplay - with many moments of lightness and mirth, in the midst of the more serious message about responsibility and being ready (sufficiently mature) for a relationship. The cast were impressive - the set minimalist (replicating Shakespearean authenticity) - but the fairly complex wordiness of the work requires great concentration from the audience. Unless you're prepared for that, you're unlikely to find it as effortlessly engrossing, as you might anticipate, from the early humour of the piece.

If you're on a budget (who isn't these days?) you can enhance the authenticity of the experience by opting for a pit 'seat', at just £7; all you need to do is arrive in good time and take along a comfortable cushion to sit on. The production runs, at the Rose, until November 15th.

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