Friday, September 28, 2018

'Much Ado About Nothing' by William Shakespeare

28 September 2018

On Thursday I was at Stantonbury Theatre in Milton Keynes to see Merely Theatre’s production of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. This was an enjoyable, energetic performance of Shakespeare’s comedy, with the feel of a summer outdoor production and a very impressive cast. At first I worried that they were playing the comedy too broadly: the war of words between Beatrice and Benedick should be a battle of wits to contrast with the clowning comedy of Dogberry and the Watch – like the contrast between the lovers and the rude mechanicals in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. But in the more serious moments the quality of acting shone through. And the scenes with the Watch, who appeared during the interval in hi-vis jackets to check the health and safety of the audience, were genuinely funny. There were some neat adjustments to the script to get round the challenges presented by six actors trying to play all the parts, making good use of audience members. And I loved the ensemble singing and dancing, using acoustic versions of modern pop songs to create a joyous feel to this sunny play.

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