Wednesday, July 25, 2007

'Much Ado About Nothing' by William Shakespeare

25 July 2007

When your neighbours have got a troupe of travelling players performing Shakespeare in their back garden it would seem churlish not to support them – so on Sunday we made our way through the deer park to Woburn Abbey to watch the outdoor production of 'Much Ado About Nothing' by Chapterhouse theatre company. In this period of 'extreme weather' we expected the worst but, amazingly, the clouds cleared, the sun came out and we enjoyed a beautiful evening. There are quite a few companies touring open-air Shakespeare productions each summer and it always appears to be a very testing proving ground for young actors. Apart from coping with the full range of weather conditions, your projection has got to be very strong to reach the back of the audience and you have to be able to ignore numerous potential distractions – such as the flock of geese that flew across the Woburn Abbey gardens on Sunday, closely followed by a lone heron. The Chapterhouse cast coped well and gave a solid, engaging performance. Not quite as inventive in their use of the available space as the 'Romeo and Juliet' we saw last year but extremely enjoyable nonetheless – with particularly strong performances by Nicola Weeks and Simon Michael Morgan as Beatrice and Benedick. Their tour of England continues to the end of August - details at

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