Sunday, August 05, 2007

"Love Labours Won" - Edinburgh Fringe 2007

Rogue Shakespeare Company's "Love Labours Won" at the Gilded Balloon Teviot is clearly both written and performed thoroughly with tongues in cheeks, gently mocking the Bard's style in an affectionate manner that is more homage than spoof. Sadly at the Fringe it's not uncommon for an audience to fail to get the show they deserve, but in this case I was left feeling that the show hadn't got the audience it deserved.

While not perfect I found this to be well written, both linguistically and plotwise, and the humour largely hit the mark - for me at least. Unfortunately much of it seemed to be missed by large sections of the audience and the laughter was pretty restrained.

The decision to go with an all-female cast didn't seem to either add or detract greatly from the piece (apart from one or two cheapish gags) although I enjoyed all the performances, with Clare Harlow as "Julia" and Emma Canalese as "Annabelle" being particularly strong. Jade Allen as "Caesus" gave a performance inspired by Blackadder's "Lord Flashheart" but it was very much in tone with the production.

That can't be said for the nudity towards the end of the show. While not in any way tasteless or gratuitous it just didn't add anything significant and seemed out of place. At the Fringe any show that has to warn of nudity on its flyers/listings risks being classed along with the kind of shows that use it for shock value or attention seeking to make up for lack of quality/originality - and "Love Labours Won" shouldn't need that - it's a quality production.

This isn't going to provide bundles of belly laughs but it should certainly leave those with an attention span and passing understanding of Shakespearean dialogue with a smile on their face.

"Love Labours Won"
is at the Gilded Balloon Teviot until 27 August with daily performances at 16:30.

2 Heckles

Waldorf said...

Whilst agreeing with Statler regarding the on stage nudity, I'd like to point out the removal of my shoes during this performance was completely necessary for me to perform my role for this website.

Waldorf - limpingly

Anonymous said...

I thought that the whole thing was a load of rubbish and the only highlight(s) of the show was Emma Canalese's lovely tits.