The 12 Plays of Christmas – Day 1 – “Love’s Labour’s Lost”

Not that long ago I was planning my “12 Days of Christmas Knits” for my other blog, when the idea struck that clearly I needed to commemorate the 12 days of Christmas with Shakespearean plays, and an idea of how scenes could be staged, given my passion for the Otago University Sheilah Winn Festival of Shakespeare.  If you would like a freebie, here is a link to a downloadable bookmark set quoting Christmas in “Love’s Labour’s Lost”

Day 1 is “Love’s Labour’s Lost”.  This was chosen as in Shakespeare’s day, Christmas was not a big deal.  This is one of the only plays even to mention Christmas (and it does it twice).  As with a number of comedies, this one has men wooing women (badly).  Essentially there are 4 men, wooing 4 women.  Ultimately this ends with disguises and the men attempting to woo the wrong woman. The women here are also in disguise and continue to mock the men after the jest has been uncovered.  By the end of the play the women vow to marry the men if they can remain true, and as hermits, for a year.

We don’t know how it turns out, as the play ends there.

There is also a play within-a-play, much to the same idea as in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”… in that the players are dreadful. The whole thing turns to custard and it is declared that no one shall marry at the end.

Personally I like the idea of the play-within-a-play as a section to perform.  Audiences tend to know of the one in Midsummer, as well as the one in “Hamlet”.  This one becomes something new and interesting.

The section involving disguises and not being exactly who they proclaim to be could be a great way to modernise an interpretation, using a social media platform such as Tinder as a starting point for the interactions.

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