Love's Labours Lost


Joint production with

Bath Drama


AUDITIONS: Sat 7th & Sun 8th March

PERFORMANCES: Tues 16th – Sat 20th June


Audition Guidelines

There is no requirement to prepare and there will be lots of pieces to try. However, if you know which part(s) you want to audition for please contact me to discuss the scenes that may be used for that character. Normally you will be asked to participate in at least two scenes.

If for any reason you cannot make the audition dates, do send an email to me – – and give me a telephone or mobile number so that I can organise mop up auditions.

If you don’t know the play it can seem off-puttingly wordy but if you can see the current RSC production at Stratford or in the cinema, I would strongly recommend it – it is a wonderful show.

I look forward to seeing you at the auditions,

John Reid, Director


Plot Outline

The King of Navarre and his lordly companions – Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine – have sworn an oath to spend three years studying and fasting, away from the society of women. A law has been passed outlawing women from within a mile of the court. Navarre’s Platonic academy turns out to be based upon oaths that cannot be kept: the Princess of France and her ladies are due on a serious political mission relating to the debts of her father. The King’s oath of celibacy means that the Princess must be lodged outside the court, in the open air, in the park. This humiliating arrangement becomes less and less tenable as each lord, predictably (in comic terms), singles out a lady to fall in love with and although each tries to keep this love secret from his fellows – their treachery to their vows is exposed. Quickly reconciled to being comrades in love, they plan to court their ladies in disguise. Their labours of love are frustrated on every occasion by the ladies.

Don Armado, a Spanish courtier, has also taken a vow of celibacy but he has fallen in lust for Jaquenetta, a simple country wench. The labours of lust are enacted by the lower classes – to remind the upper classes that sublimation of sexual desire is very bad for them. They are also reminded that talking clever isn’t all that clever – if you’re really human. They don’t seem to learn that much. Oh dear – where will it all end? The locals plan to stage a pageant to entertain the courtiers and their French guests….


The Characters


FERDINAND, King of Navarre

An immature young king whose naivety and intellectual idealism are perfectly captured in his proposal to create a ‘little academe’ with his faithful courtiers where they will devote themselves to three years of study and fasting – and eschew the company of women. Mid-twenties.


The cleverest (and the most worldly-wise) of the king’s three attendant lords – his sceptical wit soon exposes the daftness of Navarre’s academy. Late twenties to early thirties.


These young lords feel like twins – there is an innocence about their immaturity that forms a key strand in the comedy. Lot of fun to be had.


A Spanish braggart may seem like a limited comic type but Armado is an outrageous parody of the affectations of the courtiers – both as courtly lovers and as verbal wits. Thirties – mid-forties.


Armado’s page is usually played by a boy or boyish type – but it could be a girl. Quick-witted and a singer.



Witty, intelligent, and self-possessed – should be a Jane Austen heroine. Late twenties….


Shares the wit and eloquence of her mistress – proves herself a match for Berowne. Flexible twenties…


Usually matched in youthfulness with their respective lordly suitors.


Lord attending the princess, her go-between and eloquent court jester – his waspish wit is often wedded (by actors) to a camp persona. 40-60.


Few words, but deadly – a messenger of death, age not important.



A very earthy, lower class clown. 40’s-50’s.


A Constable of few words in a world of words. 50’s-60’s.


A rough and ready country wench. 20’s-mid-thirties


A pedantic schoolmaster – 50’s-60’s.


A curate. Part of a comic double-act with Holofernes.50’s.

There are a number of supporting roles – attendant lords, a forester, and musicians - that would suit people who don’t want too much commitment. The musical pageant that ends the play can involve a large number of extra cast, young and old.