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Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre of London Brings Love’s Labour’s Lost to Philadelphia

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Love's Labour's LostThe Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts continues its season of Shakespeare with the highly anticipated return of the Globe Theatre of London, with six performances of Love’s Labour’s Lost. Fresh from a critically acclaimed run in London, the Globe Theatre brings what has been called Shakespeare’s most ludicrous comedy to the Zellerbach Theatre from Oct. 27-31. 

The University of Pennsylvania is the second stop on the Globe Theatre’s tour of seven U.S. universities, and it is one of only two East coast schools presenting the play. This production marks the second time the Globe Theatre has performed in Philadelphia. 

In Love’s Labour’s Lost, love comes when one least expects it. The King of Navarre and his noblemen have forsworn every kind of pleasure, including romance. A visit from the Princess of France and her lovely ladies in waiting soon has this all-male “academe” tearing up its rulebook. 

Love's Labour's Lost

Love’s Labour’s Lost is directed by Dominic Dromgoole, the Globe Theatre’s artistic director, and features designs by Tony Award nominee Jonathan Fensom. The play, a revival of the highly successful 2007 Globe Theatre production, employs renaissance staging, costume and music. Dromgoole describes the play as having a “youthful, zesty, sexy energy to it.” 

Love’s Labour’s Lost is a playful and joyous celebration of young love and offers a festive parade of every weapon in Shakespeare’s comic arsenal — silly impersonations, drunkenness, bust-ups and pitfalls. It’s possibly the Bard’s most joyful banquet of language, groaning with puns, rhymes, peculiar syntax, fantastic coinages and parody. 

“It can also be the single most irritating play in the canon, with these kids being with each other,” Dromgoole told the New York Times. “You sometimes want to roll up your program and go onto the stage and beat then with it.” 

In conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania, the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is offering special enhancement programs that are free to ticket holders for Love’s Labour’s Lost. All pre- and post-show chats will be held in the Zellerbach Theatre. 

  • Oct. 27: “Love, Poems, Masques and Pageants: An Exploration of Love’s Labour’s Lost.” A pre-show chat with Dr. Cary Mazer, associate professor in theatre arts and English, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Oct. 28: Pre-show chat with Dr. Peter Conn, Vartan Gregorian Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Oct. 29: “Too Long for a Play: The Limits of Comedy in Love’s Labour’s Lost.” Pre-show chat with Dr. Melissa Sanchez, assistant professor of English, University of Pennsylvania.

Additionally, audiences can participate in a post-performance chat with the cast on Oct. 30. 

Performances of Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Zellberbach Theatre are at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 27-29, 8 p.m. on Oct. 30-31, and 2 p.m. on Oct. 31. Tickets are $25-$55. For tickets or more information, please call 215-898-3900 or visit www.annenbergcenter.org. Tickets also can be purchased at the Annenberg Center Box Office.