A labour of love at the Commons July 5 to 7

Gabriola Players

Submitted Article

Wednesday, June 26 2019

Ferdinand, King of Navarre, and three noble friends have just vowed (some more enthusiastically than others) to forsake the company of women – and most other earthly delights – for a period of three years, during which they will devote themselves to their studies. Cue the unexpected arrival of the Princess of Aquitaine and her three rather appealing ladies-in-waiting. Will the men stand resolute and keep their monastic vows? Or will they surrender to the beauty and charms of the opposite sex? 

Find out next weekend when Gabriola Players presents three staged readings of Love’s Labour’s Lost, the latest instalment in the group’s “Bard in the Garden” series.

The first instalment was A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed in 2015. 

Miranda Holmes, who was the artistic director of Gabriola Players at the time, says: “I honestly don’t know what I was thinking when I included A Midsummer Night’s Dream in our season that year. None of our actors had any experience at all with Shakespeare. 

“Thanks be to Dionysus, the god of the theatre, that Garry Davey was so enthusiastic about the idea that he offered to be our guiding spirit. He took a ragtag bunch of newbies and inspired and infected us all with his love of Shakespeare. The audiences loved the show – and so did the actors. We’re so grateful to Garry for his invaluable help in keeping this project alive.”

As one can expect from a Shakespeare comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost is a delicious cocktail of foolish lovers, clowns, mistaken identities, disguises and humble folk taking a playful poke at their so-called betters. 

Audiences will recognize a number of cast members from A Midsummer Night`s Dream, Twelfth Night and As You Like It. 

There will be several Shakespearean newcomers as well, including Tom Radcliffe, who recently made his debut with Gabriola Players as Bud in Norm Foster’s Old Love, and his wife Hilary Farmer.

According to Tom: “It’s been fascinating for me to see how Shakespeare works from the other side of the curtain. Garry has some great insights into the language and the characters and the playfulness of the play. I was part of a Shakespeare-themed improv show a few years ago, but encountering the real thing as an actor is something else altogether. 

As a bonus, I’m performing with my wife Hilary, who plays the Princess of France, and gets to make me look very foolish indeed. 

If you like to laugh at the foibles of love, you’ll love this show.”

As with past Bard in the Garden productions, Gabriola Players will be donating 50% of ticket sales to People for a Healthy Community. So bring a blanket or a chair and a picnic to the garden of the Commons and enjoy the show, knowing that you are also supporting a very worthy cause.

There will be three performances of Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Commons: Friday and Saturday, July 5 and 6 at 6pm (please note the show starts at 6pm, not 7pm) and Sunday July 7 at 2pm. Tickets are $15 and are available at North Road Sports or online at gabriolaplayers.ca.