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Shakespeare on the local stage

Posted: 11th October 2016

Shakespeare’s great romantic comedies, Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing were first paired to great acclaim at Stratford-upon-Avon in 2014.

This innovative doubling is now presented at Chichester Festival Theatre in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Matching events, characters and themes suggest that these razor-sharp romances belong together. In Love’s Labour’s Lost two sparring lovers, Berowne and Rosaline, are separated; at the start of Much Ado About Nothing (or Love’s Labour’s Won), two sparring lovers meet again after a long absence and continue to quarrel, until they are tricked into acknowledging their love.

Directed by Christopher Luscombe, with a dazzling design by Simon Higlett and glorious music by Nigel Hess, the productions are set either side of the First World War. 

Love’s Labour’s Lost conjures up the carefree elegance of a pre-war Edwardian summer; in post-war Much Ado About Nothing the world has changed forever, the roaring 20s just around the corner. A 22-strong ensemble company performs in both productions.

Following his appearance at Chichester last year in The Rehearsal, Edward Bennett returns to play Berowne and Benedick; Lisa Dillon plays Rosaline and Beatrice.

Both shows run at Chichester Festival Theatre until Saturday 29th October. To book tickets and find out more, contact the box office on 01243 781312 or visit www.cft.org.uk