Celebrating Shakespeare's 450th Birthday: David Tennant In Love's Labours Lost

In celebration of the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth today we'll be taking a look back at some of David Tennant's finest Shakespeare-inspired moments.

In 2008 on a break between series 4 of Doctor Who and the 2009 specials, David returned to the Royal Shakespeare Company to take on two roles: the lead in Hamlet and as Berowne in Loves Labours Lost.

Love’s Labours Lost
The King of Navarre and three of his lords form a little 'academe' in which they vow to study for three years, renouncing the company of women. But the Princess of France and three of her ladies arrive on a diplomatic mission, throwing the plan into chaos as soon as the vows are made. The men from Navarre trump each other in a scene in which they are overheard reading aloud their bad love poems. The ladies then comprehensively outwit the men in a scene involving Russian disguise. A comic sub-plot concerns an extravagantly spoken Spaniard, his clever page, a country clown and a pregnant dairymaid, with contributions from a curate and a pedantic schoolmaster, culminating in a pageant of classical and biblical heroes, 'The Nine Worthies'. Halfway through this show, Marcade arrives with news of the death of the princess' father. The mood turns sombre and the ladies give the men the task of performing a year's ascetic penance or community service before they will marry them.

What the critics said

“...a performance that confirms Tennant's Shakespearean status.” - Michael Billington, The Guardian.

“Jonathan Miller notoriously dismissed David Tennant as "the man from Doctor Who" and virtually accused the RSC of selling out to fame when they hired him to play Hamlet. Miller was left looking foolish on several counts. Tennant's triumphant performance was (and still is) a reminder that this Dr Who is a classically trained actor with two previous seasons in Stratford under his belt.” – Paul Taylor, The Independent

“All in all this show is just good plain fun with Tennant proving that his sell-out run at Stratford-upon-Avon has been justified.” – Dianne Parks, The Birmingham Mail

View some production images here: