The Royal Shakespeare Company, Chichester Festival Theatre, Theatre Royal Haymarket Limited, Jonathan Church Productions Limited, Triumph Proscenium Productions Limited present
Much Ado About Nothing / Love Labours Lost
LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST
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.
LOVE’S LABOUR’S WON
Autumn 1918. A group of soldiers return from the trenches. The world-weary Benedick and his friend Claudio find themselves reacquainted with Beatrice and Hero. As memories of conflict give way to a life of parties and masked balls, Claudio and Hero fall madly, deeply in love, while Benedick and Beatrice reignite their own altogether more combative courtship.
Shakespeare’s comic romance plays out amidst the brittle high spirits of a post-war house party, as youthful passions run riot, loves are deceived and happiness is threatened – before peace ultimately wins out.
The Times, DAILY TELEGRAPH, DAILY MAIL
SUNDAY TIMES, THE GUARDIAN, Financial Times, EVENING STANDARD, WHATSONSTAGE.COM