Love's Labour's Lost

Love's Labour's Lost

Inn on the Park
St Albans
July 2007

Our first St Albans production in one of the wettest summers in history; yet none of the performances were rained off, though one or two were a little blustery and cold. Inn on the Park worked wonderfully as a venue with all the facilities and comforts lacking in Queen's Wood, close up connection with the audience and lots of atmosphere in its parkland setting. It was the start of an excellent working relationship with the people of the Inn. Some of the set blew down and the costumes were occasionally doused but we pressed on and the audience loved it.

“Standard of acting was great. Done with passion”
Audience member

“Extraordinarily compelling...Rooftop have lifted open-air Shakespeare in St Albans to a new dimension”
Herts Advertiser - full review below.


Cast

Ferdinand
Simon Bolton
Longaville
Andrew Cleaver
Dumaine
Mark Booth
Berowne
Chris Sharp
Costard
Simon Nader
Jaquenetta
Fiona Belchamber
Don Armado
James Edwards
Moth
Samuel Reitemeier
Dull
Brian Benson
Boyet
Paul Sayers
Princess
Dawn Finch
Rosaline
Wendy Killian
Maria
Sally Gilfillan
Katherine
Nalini Chetty
Marcade
Richard Brown
Music
Steve Finch & Mike Harnden
Director/ Producer
Paul Sayers
Assistant Director/ set and props
Simon Bolton

Review

Breath of fresh air for theatre

To make outdoor Shakespeare enjoyable in the kind of summer we have been having takes quite some doing.

Yes despite Friday being the wettest day of the year to date, a brisk wind blowing and a distinct chill in the air, Rooftop Theatre Company's Love's Labour's Lost was extraordinarily compelling.

It is being performed in what at first seems the unlikely setting of the hedged seating area at the Inn on the Park in Verulamium Park, St Albans. But in fact it makes a very good "stage" with the audience close enough to the actors for their voices to carry perfectly and the creation of an intimacy between actors and onlookers which works very successfully.

There is also the added bonus of having refreshments, quite literally, on the doorstep. Add a bit of warmth and sunshine and this would be a near-perfect evening.

Rooftop are a semi-professional company who have been looking for a suitable open-air venue in St Albans for the past two years. They have chosen a play which is not as widely known as some of Shakespeare's classics but lends itself perfectly to both the location and the skills of the performers.

Love's Labour's Lost is primarily a romantic comedy which follows the development of love between Ferdinand, King of Navarre, and his three companions and the Princess of Aquitaine and her ladies-in-waiting.

Director Paul Sayers, who takes the role of Boyet, the lord who advises the womenfolk, milks the play for all it is worth drawing out some excellent comedic performances and memorable moments.

I doubt if anyone in the audience will forget Andrew Cleaver's maracas moment in the role of Longaville, one of the King's companions, or James Edward's guitar-playing Don Armado who, at one stage, strips down to his bra!

Every parent in the audience loved Samuel Reitemeier, complete with Scout uniform, as Moth, and Fiona Belchamber was an absolute hoot as the posturing Jaquenetta.

The beautiful singing voice of Wendy Killian in the role of Rosalina was another sublime moment, coming as it did as the light was fading and the lovers drawing apart from each other.

Rooftop have lifted open-air Shakespeare in St Albans to a new dimension and every single member of the cast, together with the musicians, deserved the enthusiastic applause which greeted their final bow.

They are putting on two more performances this week and even if the weather does not improve, it is worth wrapping up well and going to see them.”

Madeleine Burton, Herts Advertiser

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Behind the Scenes

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