Year of Shakespeare: Love's Labour's Lost

What others are saying ...

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  1. Deafinitely's aim has always been to bridge the gap between deaf and hearing audiences, and the gap gets smaller here. It's not only a new approach for existing Shakespeare fans; it also provides a great introduction to the playwright, especially for children. Definitely, I'd say, theatre for everyone.
  2. Deafinitely theatre's Love's Labour's was brilliant, really interesting experience watching a different style of expression @The_Globe #G2G
  3. I went to see this (as a non-BSL speaker) and enjoyed the performance (particularly the music, which added a lot more than I'd initially expected). I'll admit I struggled at times to follow without the surtitles (which, bafflingly, weren't present at all for the closing poem, leaving me a bit in the dark as to what the conclusion of the story was). I was seated far to the side of the stage which didn't help in terms of interpreting the BSL as best I could, to be fair. My petty complaints aside; this opened my eyes to how most theatre experiences for deaf people must be, except they don't even tend to get the surtitles. It was fantastic to see so many people speaking BSL before/after the play and I wish these people were more welcomed by 'traditional' theatre in accessibility terms.
  4. Love's Labour's Lost by @DeafinitelyT @The_Globe was beautiful - superb performances, some great visual ideas & full of gorgeous music. #G2G
  5. The actors put a lot of energy into the show, and even without understanding the language there's physical humour that's universal. I did wonder, though, how well deaf audience members at the side of the stage would fare, as the signing seemed to be being directed exclusively straight out to the front. Overall, fun, but an odd Shakespeare to see in a silent language, since the story isn't one of his best, and the play's main strengths are considered to be in the wordplay.
  6. There are moments when the full potential of sign language transcends any communication barrier. As Matthew Gurney, as Lord Berowne, argues that the oath is too strict to adhere to, he uses a sign in a way that causes audible gasps in the audience. He signs 'study' with his face pushed up so close to the imaginary book in his hands that he cannot see the world around him, and in that moment, the audience know exactly what he is trying to say – that the men will study at the expense of real life. There is a real sense of liberation in seeing Deafinitely perform an established work. Here they are able to make one of Shakespeare's works their own. Love's Labour's Lost is often thought of as one of his least accessible plays, but here it is made accessible, and, most importantly, funny for all. I hope this is not the last time Deafinitely Theatre tackle Shakespeare, because as the level of applause indicated as the actors took their bows this was a complete triumph.
  7. Also amused to note that rude jokes make sense in any language... as do declarations of love #G2G
  8. Whilst making BSL accessible to all was great, it was wonderful to see what felt like the entire Deaf Community in a packed house creating a buzzing atmosphere. Due to the nature of the theatre it was possible to sign a conversation across the Globe to a familiar face (another reason why Shakespeare and BSL are a perfect match). In my previous visits I have always enjoyed the atmosphere of being a groundling but this event without a doubt trumps them all. Truly a historical event to remember!
  9. For me the climax of the production was the beautifully presented poem about winter and rebirth, combining BSL with universal gestures and symbols akin to ballet. I was also extremely impressed by the musical accompaniment. The musicians were on stage throughout, and provided commentary which was by turns ironic, poignant, wistful and celebratory, particularly through the part played by the violin, and which enhanced and was enhanced by the graceful fluency of the actors
  10. The ending of the play, where a year of separation looms like an impossible gulf for the fledgling lovers, risks feeling as though our Bard forgot he was writing a comedy. While this production feels the sudden absence of pace and laughs, in their place emerges Don Armado’s beautifully signed song of ‘Spring and Winter’, which bring a stillness and poignancy to the closing scene. With the rest of the cast echoing his movements, somehow Adam Bassett succeeds in capturing the pastoral poetry of the language entirely though his body. The ensemble signing around him is utterly mesmerising and ensures that, like the truest of Shakespearean comedies, this Love’s Labour’s Lost ends with a dance and sends you out with a smile.
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