Critical Chinwag -Love Labours Won- March 3rd

As I sat in the newly refurbished Savoy Theatre in Tonyrefail, ready to watch the Avant Theatre group perform their current production of Love Labours Won, I was a little unsure of what to expect. I knew nothing about the play other than it was in the style of Shakespeare and as much as I love the playwright's work, during my time I've seen my fair share of badly performed Shakespeare plays. BUT, I am happy to say I was very pleasantly surprised!

A favourite touch of mine was having the characters on stage before the play started. It immediately brought the audience in, making us curious as to who they were and what they were doing, and also made sure all focus was on the stage, as it should be. House lights dimmed, the play started and the energy could be felt immediately. The three characters that began on stage introduced us to our new surroundings and allowed for a dramatic and powerful opening.

The cast gave the play the youth and freshness needed to break down the wall often put up by audience's when listening to the Shakespearean language. The modern costumes and set allowed the audience to connect with the characters, and from the word go I was drawn in to the story. The cast consisted of 3 females and 4 males and each played their part perfectly. During a question and answer session with the cast, we learned that they had not known each other that long, something which you would never guess from watching them. Whilst on stage, they all seemed to be extremely comfortable playing their roles, and also interacting with other characters, sometimes as lovers and sometimes as enemies.

With guitar playing, humour, and a brilliant soundtrack to go with it (Take My Breath Away from 'Top Gun' being my favourite choice), this play is one I am very glad I took the opportunity to see. With audience interaction, great use of all areas of the stage and brilliant performances all around, I hope this cast and director get the chance to work together again very soon. No doubt, their next play will be as big a triumph as this one and I will certainly be there to see it.

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