Last night, I went along to see the Greek Theatre Players perform Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost in the garden of The Girl’s school.
I didn’t even know there was a Greek theatre there! It’s been there for ages apparently, and they’ve recently refurbished it (along with the rest of the school). The Greek Theatre Players have performed there since 1958 – just one Shakespeare play a year.
I knew nothing about Love’s Labours Lost – and to be honest, it was rather flowery, and I found parts of it difficult to follow. Basically (from what I could gather), some scholars who have agreed to study with the King of Navarre, and in agreeing to this, they are also agreeing to regular fasting, isolation and no women. One of the scholars isn’t quite as keen to give all of this up, and questions it.
Then a heavily-accented (but done very well in this case) Spanish swordsman comes to court, and tries to woo a maid. Also, the Princess, daughter of the King of France arrives with her ladies-in-waiting, and is denied entrance to the court due to the scholars’ agreement.
The play really is all about battles of wit between the scholars and the Princess and her ladies, with them all eventually falling in love (of course), with a few comical asides.
I honestly don’t think this was Shakespeare’s best work – and it went on for ever!
However, I generally enjoyed the experience. All of the actors were fantastic – there were a couple of standouts (the Spaniard, the Princess, Roseline, Maria, Holofernes and Dull (I think). The costumes were absolutely fabulous – in fact there was one point where one of the actors came and sat next to me for part of a scene, and I was admiring his longcoat!
The setting was also wonderful, and it really suited the play. However, the weather has been awful this week (after the recent run of good weather, this was such a shame – I think otherwise there may have been a larger audience than the 45 or so that were there), and halfway into the second half, the rain started getting so heavy that we were moved indoors to The Girl’s school theatre.
Although it was nice and warm and dry (and not really windy, so therefore easier to hear), I was very surprised when I realised just how much the unpropped play lost taken out of what felt like its natural setting!
It was a great experience, although my dodgy coccyx really, really hates me now. I will definitely go along to whatever they put on next year – although I hope it’s something a little more accessible