Shakespeare and L.O.V.E: Dance and Desire in the Sonnets

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores Volcano Theatre Company’s radical interpretation of Shakespeare’s Sonnets through their award-winning physical theatre production, L.O.V.E (1992). Drawing on literary analysis and sociological readings, the chapter considers current and historical perspectives on what many consider to be Shakespeare’s most intimate work, and notably the implications of the poetry’s homoerotic focus. The chapter then explores Volcano’s adaptation of this non-theatrical work into narratively-driven performance material, focusing on analysis of the company’s choreographic and aesthetic responses to the textual stimulus. The author’s decade-long experience of performing in L.O.V.E is augmented through interviews with key members of the production’s original cast and creative collaborators. Finally, the chapter reflects on the critical impact of L.O.V.E through analysis of its cultural and political reception both in the UK and internationally.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Dance
EditorsLynsey McCulloch, Brandon Shaw
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780190498788
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2019

Publication series

NameOxford Handbooks


  • Choreography
  • Physical Theatre
  • Shakespeare’s Sonnets
  • Queer Performance
  • Volcano Theatre Company


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