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Love's Labour's Lost archiveSelf-denial is in fashion at the court of Navarre where the young king and three of his courtiers solemnly forswear all pleasures in favour of serious study. 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. Shakespeare's boisterous send-up of all those who try to turn their back on life 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. The RSC commemorates the centenary of the First World War and updates the play to 1914. Summer 1914. In order to dedicate themselves to a life of study, the King and his friends take an oath to avoid the company of women for three years. No sooner have they made their idealistic pledge than the Princess of France and her ladies-in-waiting arrive, presenting the men with a severe test of their high-minded resolve. Shakespeare's sparkling comedy delights in championing and then unravelling an unrealistic vow, and mischievously suggesting that the study of the opposite sex is in fact the highest of all academic endeavours. Only at the end of the play is the merriment curtailed as the lovers agree to submit to a period apart, unaware that the world around them is about to be utterly transformed by the war to end all wars.


Sam Alexander (King of Navarre), Peter Basham (Gamekeeper), William Belchambers (Longaville), Edward Bennett (Berowne), Nick Haverson (Costard), John Hodgkinson (Don Armado), David Horovitch (Holofernes), Tunji Kasim (Dumaine), Sophie Khan Levy (Housemaid), Oliver Lynes (Footman), Emma Manton (Jaquenetta), Chris McCalphy (Dull), Frances McNamee (Maria), Peter McGovern (Moth), Chris Nayak (Footman), Jamie Newall (Boyet), Roderick Smith (Marcade), Flora Spencer-Longhurst (Katharine), Michelle Terry (Rosaline), Harry Waller (Gamekeeper), Thomas Wheatley (Sir Nathaniel), Leah Whitaker (Princess of France)


Author: Shakespeare
Producer: Royal Shakespeare Company
Director: Christopher Luscombe
Design: Simin Higlett
Lighting: Oliver Fenwick
Music: Nigel Hess
Sound: Jeremy Dunn

Love's Labour's Lost

Love's Labour's Lost (Play) production archive for QTIX code T321869228. Details of all Love's Labour's Lost archived productions can be found under the QTIX code: S4071

Archive Listings

23 Sep 14
14 Mar 15
Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire
Performance Details => Venue archive



Love's Labour's Lost review
12Nov14: The RSC production
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