Archive for October, 2014

an unmatched seam (rsc love’s labour’s lost and found): review

27 October 2014

The Royal Shakespeare Company have a genuine hit on their hands with Love’s Labour’s Lost. The acting is natural yet marvelous, with every scene-carrying performance balanced with a scene-stealing one. The musical interludes are delightful, with an unexpected edge of Sondheim. And then there is the extraordinary mechanics of the set, which slides around now in two dimensions like the 15 puzzle, now in three dimensions like a Rubik’s cube. This lesser-known play starts as a comedy and ends as something else, not quite a tragedy but a somber memento mori. Director Christopher Luscombe and the RSC have, like many others this year, used the World War I centenary as a hook, and the guns of August mesh well with the mordant turn.

Love’s Labour’s Won, or Much Ado About Nothing, which is paired with LLL in the company’s repertoire, does not fare as well, though same actors appear and the line delivery and staging still make it a fine performance. As always with this play, the problem is in the script and the problem is Claudio/Hero.