Open-air Theatre


by William Shakespeare

Two heart-shaped red balloons and pages floating in the sky

Thu 30 July - Sat 8 August 1998 at 7.30pm (no performance Sun 2 August)
Performed in the open air in the grounds of St Andrew's Hospital, Billing Road, Northampton


King Ferdinand Brian Abraham
Berowne Martin Borley
Longaville David Ashton
Dumaine Andrew Cook
Don Adriano de Armado Vince Perry
Moth Alex Perry
Holofernes Owen Warr
Nathaniel John Hendy
Dull Tony Janney
Costard Richard Thomas
Jaquenetta Amanda Fuller
Boy Michael Perry
A Forester Michael Green
Princess of France Jan Stoppani
Rosaline Emma Austin
Maria Louise Best
Katharine Suzanne Wilson
Boyet Michael Gallant
Marcade Michael Green

Director John Cartwright
Stage Manager
Denise Swann
Assistant Stage Managers Greta Hendy, Clare Brittain
Derek Banyard
Prompt Grace Ciappara, Clare Brittain
Jane Roebuck
Wardrobe assistants Alison Dunmore, Clare Brittain, Masque Costumes
Sound & Lighting The Works
Music Composed by Tony Gosling
Sound Effects Tony Gosling
Hair Lisa Green
Make-up Emma Gookey
Front of House John Clarke
Publicity Rob Kendall
Programme Design George Hammerschmidt

The blueprint of Shakespearean comedies

Review by Sarah Freeman | Northampton Chronicle & Echo | 29 July 1998

The fine weather has come just in time for Northampton Masque Theatre's open air production of Love's Labour's Lost.

Thanks to the now all-too-predictable British summer, the company had only managed one performance since their opening night last Thursday.

The play of four young men who try unsuccessfully to reject the fairer sex to concentrate on their studies follows the blueprint of Shakespearean comedies with mistaken identity, low life sub-plot and regular appearances from a clown who speaks in nothing but riddles.

Director John Cartwright has brought the play into the '90s, with the actors swapping traditional Elizabethan costume for cocktail dresses and dinner jackets.

And the outside setting provided an almost perfect backdrop for the two-hour long show - it was just unfortunate that the speeches of some of the quieter actors coincided with an aeroplane flying directly overhead.

But with warmer weather predicted for this weekend, take a bottle, a blanket and go see.

A scene from The Rover
A scene from Love's Labour's Lost
A scene from Love's Labour's Lost

Inhabited by wordsmiths

Preview by John Cartwright | director

"Words, words, words" was Hamlet's reply to Polonius when asked what he was reading and his reaction to seeing Love's Labour's Lost could have been the same.

From the grandiloquent pronouncements and letters of Don Adriano to the verbosity of the Pedant (well named) Holofernes to the attempt at love poetry by the King and his companions, Shakespeare gives us rich contrasts of language: indeed, Navarre seems to be inhabited by wordsmiths.

Love's Labour's Lost is a play fresh with young love and of young people, especially the men, learning about themselves. Shakespeare draws on his Navarre with a range of strange, weird and odd characters to contrast with the nobility and, in the process, makes us laugh and cry.

Masque Theatre's production is directed by John Cartwright.