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Well-educated college students who study Shakespeare’s plays tend to have mixed feelings on how to stage scenes. In Shakespeare's Love's Labor's Lost, the boy says, "An excellent device. Now Hercules destroys the snake." (5.2.137). Here he is supposed to be taken seriously and be bringing out a good point during the "Nine Worthies." In the Hofstra stage version he pretty much looks like a joke and his comments then become meaningless. He should have been appearing as a much more serious character, portraying the attitude of an intelligent young boy.
As the production proceeded there were other distractions that caught the viewer's eye. Another major distraction was the running to the microphones to sing or to state an idea. If everyone else can hear the actors and actresses for the rest of the play what was the point of the microphones? Along with the microphones and running, the songs really tended to cause the audience to become less interested. The crowd’s attention goes towards the microphone and the rest of the play is ignored.
Another major problem was the scenery. The stage was set the same for every scene, never changing, although the setting changed in the text version. For instance, when all the men, beginning with Berowne, confess that they broke the oath and fell in love they are in a forest-like setting. When the production took place there were no trees or bushes. When Berowne says, "I was behind the tree and heard everything so why are you lying "(4.3.80), the audience noticed there were no trees or any type of setting to resemble that. This makes the words sound bad if the scenery does not match what is being acted out.
Once again distractions cause problems within a play. Although the messenger coming down the aisle was an interesting touch, it caused my eyes to leave the stage, the main focus.
There are some positive opinions on this production. The ending scene was very well acted and stressed what really went on in the text.
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"The Hofstra Production of Shakespeare’s Play, Love's Labor's Lost." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Nov 2019
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