(Dominic Cavendish’s article appeared in the U.K. Telegraph, 10/16.)

Maybe it was the rain bucketing down outside but I approached this double-helping of Shakespearean comedy with an autumnal sense of gloom.

Love’s Labour’s Lost, that early play groaning with dense verbal wit, has been yoked in the RSC’s repertoire to that familiar beast Much Ado About Nothing – here restyled Love’s Labour’s Won, a title that might refer to a lost work but was likely an alternate name for an existing play, perhaps Much Ado.

There’s one director (Christopher Luscombe), one designer (Simon Higlett), one company (of 23) and a unifying concept: the earlier play has been set on the eve of the First World War; the later, greater comedy has been reframed to picture the men returning home in 1918. A neat-enough centenary tie-in but hardly the sort of thing to put a spring in your step.


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