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Love's Labour's Lost (Globe Theatre Version) (2010)

Four young men swear off love in order to focus on their studies, only to have their plans go awry when four lovely ladies enter their lives.

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Maria
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Philip Cumbus ...
Ferdinand
Seroca Davis ...
Moth
Jack Farthing ...
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Rhiannon Oliver ...
Thomasin Rand ...
Tom Stuart ...
Michelle Terry ...
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Four young men swear off love in order to focus on their studies, only to have their plans go awry when four lovely ladies enter their lives.

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28 September 2010 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Version of BBC Play of the Month: Love's Labour's Lost (1975) See more »

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Love's Labour's Lost--the Globe version
22 September 2015 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

Love's Labour's Lost (Globe Theatre Version) (2010) (V) was directed by Dominic Dromgoole. (For some reason, the director isn't listed by IMDb.) LLL isn't one of Shakespeare's great comedies. There are four intertwined subplots. One involves the King of Navarre and three of his young courtiers/companions, and the Princess of France and three of her ladies-in-waiting/companions. Another involves a stereotypical Spanish nobleman and his love for a country lass. A third involves the same country lass, who may or may not be in love with a country lad (The lad wanders in and out of all the plots.) The fourth plot involves three bourgeois officials--the preacher, the teacher, and the constable. There's also a major role for Moth, the witty servant to Don Armado, the Spaniard. To add to this there are men disguised as "Muscovites," mistaken identities, and a pageant performed by the three bourgeois men.

Surprisingly, Love's Labour's Lost is loaded with wordplay. There are endless puns, endless poems, and endless commentary about puns, poems, and words. Shakespeare was warming up. Knowing what we know now, we can sense the genius flexing his mental and verbal muscles-- warming up for Much Ado About Nothing and Midsummer Night's Dream.

Anyone putting on this play has to deal with a weak premise and an intricate--and not very funny--plot. The BBC series played it straight. This is Shakespeare's play, and we're going to perform it as he wrote it. If it's not a great play, that's not our fault.

The Globe version, on the other hand, appeared to be aimed at high school students, and they went for slapstick. During the intermission, the cast came out and mingled with the audience, threw candy to them, and basically said, "Look--Shakespeare can be fun." I'm not criticizing this approach. For all I know this is closer to what Shakespeare's audience saw than the BBC approach. However, if you're looking for a serious production, this one isn't for you.

I rarely single out an actor for criticism, but I have to make an exception in this case. Michelle Terry is miscast as the Princess of France. The Princess of France isn't an untutored girl. She has come to Navarre on an important political mission, and everyone accepts her as someone who could fulfill a diplomatic role. There's nothing regal about Michelle Terry. She would be better cast as Jaquenetta, the country lass. Ms. Terry may be the right actor for the right role, but she's the wrong actor for this role. However, the other cast members were excellent, especially Seroca Davis as Moth.

We saw this movie on DVD. It would probably work better on a large screen. (It would work even better at The Globe, or at Stratford, Ontario, where we saw it in 2015.) Still, if you want an antic version of LLL, this is the one to watch. I enjoyed it.


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