‘A heart to love, and in that heart, courage, to make’s love known’Macbeth Act 2, scene 3. I’ve always relished a love scene, especially a Shakespearean love scene. There’s something about the all-encompassing nature of the love, whether caused by a time constraint, or due to the illicit nature of the union or even because it’s the result of some mischievous magic. When improvising a Shakespeare-flavor love scene I may as well have the love-hearts-for-eyes emoji face. I relish the opportunity in Shakespeare to side step the chemistry momentarily and dwell in a shared image for a time, letting the love unfurl in figurative language, hinting at the depth of feeling and inching ever closer to the moment where there is nothing left to say and the bodies simply must meet. Equally as glorious are the lovers in turmoil, Shakespeare placed his lovers in life or death situations, had them make heart-wrenching choices and created moments of jeopardy like no other. Love and death often sit, quite literally side by side. A particular penchant of mine is the ol’ come-back-to-life-as-a-lover-dies-beside-you a ‘la Romeo and Juliet. Many a time I’ve been lying dead on the stage just waiting for the right moment to gasp and resurrect myself as my heart-broken lover takes their life beside me, I bathe in the tragedy of those types of love stories. The bickering, tumultuous relationships of lovers like Beatrice and Benedick are also something to savour; no one can destroy you with words better than someone who knows you intimately. There is something devastating in arguments fuelled by passion. During my training as an intimacy director we spent time studying the physicality of bodies seen in classical art and this has really influenced the way I seek to portray love and intimacy physically on stage. In this depiction of Romeo and Juliet by Francesco Hayez I love the sense of urgency and desperation as Juliet clings to Romeo before he disappears out of the window for the last time, there’s a tangible sense of ‘the morning after’ in her crumpled nightgown and tousled hair. There’s also a softness and malleability about the way her body yields to his; the vulnerability of the exposure of her neck, the misplaced kiss and the little detail of her heel coming free from her slipper. The words then serve as an elevated illustration of all that the body is saying silently. Like Shakespeare we can weave from language notions of romance, sex and love and like a duet alongside them, add the subtle movements of a body, quite simply drawn to another body, dressing that body in words of love. Lucy’s stand alone online workshop in ‘Improvising, Shakespeare’s scenes of love and intimacy’ is on Sunday 6th December from 12.00-2.00 pm GMT.