Review: Love’s Labour’s Lost
26 June 2015, 7.45pm
Bard in the Botanics successfully delivers 500-year-old words to a contemporary audience. With a strong cast, director Gordon Barr tackles the comedy with absolute pleasure, clarity, and best of all – fun. There is no better way to make an audience have fun than to lead by example onstage, and this production of Love’s Labour’s Lost injects an overwhelming quantity of liveliness and playfulness that takes the story beyond its rhyme and verse.
The concept of staging Shakespeare outdoors is more than a generous break from an indoor performance. With a wide expanse of space and the sky as the limit, the actors have the privilege of unpacking the boundless energy within the lines and performing with a punch. There were moments when some words were inaudible due to the natural elements, and as such the acting was more heightened than necessary. However, the team adopted this challenge and the exaggeration became as much a part of their reality as the flowery language.
It is an almost-impossible feat to engage any audience in poetic speech for more than two hours, especially when ambient noise and beautiful scenery make easy distractions. However, the actors directly addressed the audience, lured them in, and kept them there right up to curtain call. Love’s Labour’s Lost was a phenomenal experience and an absolute delight to watch.