"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
LOVE'S LABOURS WON
LABOURS WON RSC/Chichester
joyous double bill is revived here before touring to Manchester and
coming into the West End.
Luscombe sets the two plays in a country house – Charlcote, a
stone's throw from Stratford-on-Avon, just before and just after the
Love's Labour's Lost I reviewed in Stratford, but this time had the enormous
pleasure of seeing them both on the same day.
Labours Won may or may not have been an alternative title for Much
Ado About Nothing. But the pairing works beautifully, especially
since Edward Bennett and Lisa Dillon takes the leading couple in each
LLL, LLW is quite heavily cut, which allows for Nigel Hess's gorgeous music
[Harry Waller singing Sigh No More] and pacy progress through the
taking a hint from Biron's “twelve-month in a hospital”, the Big
House is, at the start, commandeered for the wounded. And the war is
never quite forgotten: Don John [Sam
is clearly a broken man, and poor old Dogberry [Nick Haverson, a
wonderful Costard in the afternoon] is probably shell-shocked. He is
left alone and weeping for a moment - “a fellow that hath had
losses...”. But still manages to get more laughs than most from the
clowning, especially a hilarious physical routine in the cramped
has his share of pantomime too – not a dirty word, Luscombe made
clear in his pre-show interview – eavesdropping on his deceivers
from within the tall Christmas tree in Charlecote's imposing parlour.