See ‘bonkers’ Love’s Labour’s Lost at Shakespeare Institute


The Shakespeare Institute Players are kicking off their 2019 season with a production of Love’s Labour’s Lost. Directed by Bronwyn Barnwell, the production runs at Mason’s Croft on 1st February at 7.15pm; 2nd at 1.15pm and 7.15pm; and 3rd at 5.30pm. Tickets are available on the door. Here the team tell us about their labour of love!

Tell us who is involved in the production.

We have a 19-person cast made up of current Shakespeare Institute Students, a few alumni, and a few members of the Stratford community. We also have a very devoted crew who are students and some of which are also members of the cast. We really have formed a little (actually quite large) troop and we all carry more than one baton.

Why Love’s Labour’s Lost?

Love’s Labour’s Lost is a really tricky play! It’s almost never done and is consistently pushed aside with the unfair perception of being an unfinished prequel. The play doesn’t end the way you expect it to, the characters are ridiculous but also unforgiving, time and place almost don’t exist. It’s a frustrating play, but it is beautiful and heartfelt.

What is your production bringing to the story? How are you setting it?

Our production is bonkers. We have such a fun and creative group that the jokes and love in the show is constantly building. The language of the play begs for music and dance, so we are putting in as much as we can. We have pre-show music, interval music, and all sorts of fun surprises throughout. We are setting it in its original Elizabethan times and our costume and prop designers have really done a great job getting the look right.

What have been the challenges of putting on the production?

The hardest thing about this play, apart from everything else I’ve already mentioned is the play’s dynamic shift. I don’t want to give anything away, but the actors have to show quite a lot of versatility by the end of the show. I’m really proud of how much joy and pain they are able to bring at the same time.

Why should the audience come and see it?’

Everyone should come see this play if they enjoy watching all the typical Shakespeare mania: wrongly delivered letters, over-hearing scenes, witty wooing and un-witty wooing; but if you’re still not convinced, this play offers beautiful music played by all the actors, and a level of commitment and love that makes me really proud to direct them every day. Also there are Russians. Come!!