Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare; a Rondo Theatre Company production directed by Lisa Thrower & Andrew Fletcher, Wednesday 22nd Nov – Saturday 25th at 7.30pm.

Modern dress but original language for this production perhaps make it more accessible. Instead of Don Pedro returning from a successful battle we have RAF pilots returning to a bucolic setting, straw bales and pitchforks, at the end of WW11.

Benedick returns too, seemingly wanting to continue his “Merry war,” with Beatrice who declares, “I would rather hear my dog bark at a crow than hear a man declare he loves me.”

Also rekindling their relationship are Claudio and Hero whose feelings are destined to verge on tragedy.

What the groundlings found funny in the 16th century doesn’t always translate into the 21st century but this production converts the humour well enough to please the fairly full house here. In particular Chris Constantine as Benedick gets laughs where even Shakespeare probably didn’t intend, as does Jon Thrower (constable Dogberry) with a performance reminiscent of Basil Fawlty.

Wit, pathos, tragedy and even hints of women’s lib then… what else do you want?
Tickets may be hard to come by though.

Philip Horton

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