One of the greatest romantic comedies of all times, the story tells of two couples, Hero (Ony Uhiara) and Claudio (Philip Cumbus) who are temporarily separated by trickery and revenge, and Beatrice (Eve Best) and Benedick (Charles Edwards) whose pride and stubbornness get in the way of their budding romance. The actors knew how to work with their lines to extract the right response from their audience, keeping us engaged and laughing at all the right moments. The period-specific, gentle sounds of music helped to set the atmosphere in the auditorium just as effectively and impressively as the setting on the stage itself. From the spectacular period costumes to the use of the auditorium as part of the stage, it was impossible not to engage in this magnificent play.
Following the play, many Whatsonstage.com theatregoers stayed for a Q&A with the cast which became an intriguing discussion about approaching the challenge of taking on Shakespeare. Lisa McGrillis (Margret), a first-timer, revealed each performance helps her to grasp a better understanding of the play’s content. Marcus Griffiths (Conrade) and Joseph Marcell (Leonato) shared their thoughts on the audience’s reaction to the iconic line, “kill Claudio” finally deciding that the surprise of the statement is the cause for laughter rather than the line itself. Charles Edwards shared his experiences in Much Ado About Nothing previously, telling the audience how different both adaption were from his point of view playing Benedick this time and Don Pedro before that.
As always, please feel free to email your comments and thoughts about the play, as well as any of your favourite insights from last night to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.
- Tal Fox