All’s fair in love and Shakespeare
The battle lines are drawn in a wit war between men and women in the latest production from the Summer Shakespeare Trust and Victoria University.
Producer Sally Thorburn said the 2016 production – Love’s Labours Lost – followed a king and his companions, who have vowed to swear off women and commit to three years of study.
‘‘As you can imagine this all goes very wrong, because the gorgeous Princess of France and her ladies-in-waiting are due to arrive for a visit, and it isn’t long before the men become infatuated by their charms,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s a great battle of the sexes, and debate between love and learning.’’
The annual outdoor theatre event, sponsored by Victoria University, will be performed at the Dell in Wellington’s Botanic Garden from until February 27.
Love’s Labours Lost is an early Shakespeare comedy.
This year marks 400 years since the famous writer’s death.
‘‘There will be events and productions all around the world to commemorate this occasion, and it’s great to be part of that,’’ Thorburn said.
At the helm is director Ania Upstill, the artistic director of Wellington-based Shakespearean company Lord Lackbeards. She completed an internship at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London last year.
The show features actors ranging from ages 12 to 37, selected by open auditions.
‘‘We always have a strong contingent of cast and crew who are Victoria University alumni or students.
‘‘The crucial relationship with the university dates back to 1983.’’
The play also includes all the actors cross-dressing, which Thorburn said was challenging and fun for the actors.
‘‘The men acting as women and the women as men adds an element to the humour.
‘‘When the costume designer delivered the chaps’ dresses, the excitement in the room was palpable!’’
Ania Upstill, a Wellingtonian, was nominated for most promising new director at the 2015 Wellington Theatre Awards.