After standing in as Clara in the final dress rehearsal of Love's Cure, I was excited to see the show from the audience tonight in the Shakespeare Institute Hall.
This morning the play took its final shape, complete with set, costumes, and enthusiastic performances. The last staged performance of Love’s Cure, or The Martial Maid, was an extraordinary 400 years ago. This morning José Pérez Díez treated us to the staged reading of the play as part of his thesis project. Directed by Robert Ball, and written by John Fletcher (an apprentice and collaborator of William Shakespeare), this play was sure to please at the onset. None-the-less, Love's Cure delivered many delightful surprises along the way, including men in drag, sword fighting, and comical disguises.
The play takes place in the Spanish city of Seville and concerns a feud between two aristocratic houses, Don Pedro de Vitelli and Don Ferdinando de Alvarez. The family of Alvarez proves the most "dysfunctional" as his daughter, Clara, has been raised as a boy and his son, Lucio, has been raised as a girl. When the two siblings are united early in the play, they must cast off their upbringing and return to their proper gender roles. To complicate matters further, Clara instantly falls in love with Vitelli. Love triangles and mistaken identities are abound in this play, full of gender dysphoria.
Robert Ball has cleverly staged this production with original practices in mind, employing an all male cast, live music, classical costumes, and a three entrance set.
Through my brief involvement with the production I have fallen in love with this gem of a play. Congratulations to all on a job well done.