Love’s Labour’s Lost
by William Shakespeare
dir Nicky Diss; musical dir David Knight
with Adam Courting, Charlotte Worthing, Grace Kelly Miller, Stuart Turner
Open Bar at Fuller's Pub Gardens • 12.Jul-18.Aug.21
The plot is a knotted mess, as the King of Navarre swears an oath with his three friends to devote all their energies to their studies for three years. This includes avoiding all women. Of course, the moment they all take their vows, the Princess of France arrives with three beautiful ladies in waiting. And the four men set out to secretly woo one woman each. Meanwhile, the Spaniard Don Adriano has his own convoluted romantic entanglement with the country wench Jacquenetta. What follows involves misdelivered letters, concealed identities and lots of subterfuge.
With the actors gleefully swapping genders along with their costumes, this production is able to offer a gently queer spin on Shakespeare's playful exploration of masculinity. And the amusingly chaotic plot and surprisingly thoughtful ending add a thematic kick about the dangers of indulging in fantasies or rushing into promises that can never be kept. So even when the play itself isn't particularly funny, Open Bar succeeds in its mission to keep the audience laughing, and often happily sighing as well.
Open Bar also has a production of As You Like It touring in Fuller's pubs. For full information about both shows: SHAKESPEARE IN THE GARDEN >