Star rating – 8/10
It always amazes me, although I should know better by now, that comedies written so long ago can still delight and entertain modern audiences, and have me howling with laughter as much as the Northern Broadsides current production of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost triumphantly manages to do.
This is a delightful frolic through the King of Navarre and his three friends’ attempts to be studious and celibate academics for three years in his Spanish kingdom. They do not bargain for the delights of the Princess of France and her ladies arriving to tempt them away from their dry books. The comic timing is brilliant, and Matt Connor especially, as Berowne, gives a stand out performance.
The colours and styles of the costumes are delightful, and the musical accompaniment to the merriment is great fun. Barry Rutter again shows how Shakespeare can be delivered in good, honest Northern accents, and still be appreciated for the genius he was, brilliantly accentuated by this hilarious modern adaptation.
Adam Foggerty is also great as the lumbering peasant Cotsard, who manages to get things wrong in all the right places. But it feels churlish to point out any more of the performers, as all round great entertainment and side splitting humour was delivered by each and every one.