Much Ado About Something


MUCH ADO ABOUT SOMETHING…outdoor theatre at the Globe.. worth leaving home for….

Student thoughts…

“I’ve never seen an audience be as involved in a fictional relationship as the one between Benedict and Beatrice. The moment they kissed on stage the audience threw their hands in the air and celebrated their union. The actors did a great job of bringing the characters to life and make us suspend our disbelief. I loved every minute of Much Ado About Nothing!”

Jenny Shen 

“Standing for three hours within a tightly packed Globe in a London autumnal chill is only desirous if the drama you witness makes you forget your blisters, your cappuccino cravings and distant fears about a tube strike. ‘Much Ado’ currently playing in Shakespeare’s Globe certainly succeeds. Swept into the exoticism of Mexico with Shakespearean quips aplenty delivered with a relatable hilarity, what a gripping battle of wits we were witnesses to! This is certainly the future of Shakespeare in performance, this adaptation contains modern witticisms to accompany the bards classics. Might just be the greatest £5 we ever did spend… apart from that cappuccino…”

Niamh Collins

“The production of Much Ado About Nothing was by far one of my favourite plays I have ever seen. I was initially sceptical about whether the Mexican setting would work well but the cast pulled it off flawlessly, the musical numbers fitting in perfectly without seeming out of place at all. The audience responded equally well to the jokes – something I was dubious about considering the admittedly difficult language – and the tender and harrowing moments. The actors portraying both Beatrice and Benedick were the leading forces in this and had us both laughing and crying throughout the play. Overall, an enjoyable production that we all came away smiling from.”

Sasha Rose Cook

The setting of the Mexican revolution of 1914 meant that even the female characters, although still bound by patriarchal oppression, wore ammunition slung on their shoulders throughout the play and were as good of a shot as any of the men. Setting this production during a revolution in which, famously, both men and women fought, also lent well to the effective gender swap as Shakespeare’s Don Juan, the villainous brother of Don Pedro, becomes his sister Donna Juana in this Matthew Dunster production.
The colourful set and costumes perfectly complimented the ‘merry war’ that Beatrice and Benedick engage in, a non stop exchange of sharp barbs and biting witticisms which makes them one of Shakespeare’s best loved couples.
Despite being a ferociously fun play, there was a perfect balance between the mirth that dominates the majority of the plot and the melancholy that descends in the second act – and I’m not ashamed to admit that Hero’s beautiful rendition of PJ Harvey’s ‘The Kingdom Of Love’ did make me cry various times.
Molly Lafosse

Thoughts by Louise…

I imagine that at one time or another all of us have been exasperated by being told just how great is the genius of William Shakespeare.  I would also imagine that all of us have questioned the proposition more than once, sitting through a dense and frankly dull production…. one of the Henrys maybe? An obscure comedy that seems all words and no laughs perhaps? Or maybe the lower school version of the Scottish play?

Here is a plea – not to judge the whole on the basis of a poor version. Rather – here’s hoping you get to see an interpretation as good as the one we were privileged to watch at the Globe where, for the princely sum of £5 each we were treated to an energetic, outrageously moving version of one of Will’s comic staples, Much Ado About Nothing. What made this performance so good? A crisp sense of time and place, a clear mood of collective comic mischief, a rollicking pace in performance, astute but not slavish adaptations of language and reference, and an absolute involvement of all of us in the ‘game’ of ‘let’s pretend’ which is theatre at its best. The Globe never lets you forget this – especially when you are standing. You cannot absorb the action without its concomitant relationship with the audience. In a mutually enriching and symbiotic relationship, we are all involved, and all therefore necessarily moved, renewed, enlivened, enriched. Like the ending of a brilliant gig, none of us wanted it to end. The journey home was a festival of joyous celebration ( as well as sandwiches, crisps and the odd apple). We had seen something amazing; the prism of theatre reflected us to our multitudinous selves. Shakespeare is a genius.


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