Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing

Claudio and Hero are deeply in love.

Beatrice and Benedick would rather swap sassy insults than sweet nothings.

Much Ado About Nothing is a saucy and razor-sharp battle of wits between the bickering Beatrice and Benedick who wield words as weapons, their banter betraying their love for each other.

Claudio however is quickly consumed by envy and his idyllic world threatens to come tumbling down as he humiliates Hero. Beatrice and Benedick must join forces to defend true love – even if they can’t recognise it in themselves.

But will truth and honesty win the day, and does love really conquer all?

Directed by Bell Shakespeare’s Associate Director, James Evans (Julius Caesar) and starring Zindzi Okenyo (Antony and Cleopatra, MTC’s An Ideal Husband) as Beatrice, this Much Ado About Nothing will be a powerful exploration of the struggle for identity and self-knowledge in a male-dominated world. The pursuit of love is framed in a social context that enhances the darker themes in this timeless comic gem.

Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare’s contemporary comedies where romance is thwarted by dastardly plots, misinformation, false accusations, broken promises, and bumbling cops. Or is it?

We’ve got everything you need to get up to speed on all things Much Ado About Nothing Click here to read our handy At a Glance guide

Learn more about this production of Much Ado About Nothing in our online program.

CREATIVE TEAM

By William Shakespeare
Director James Evans
Designer Pip Runciman
Lighting Designer Niklas Pajanti
Composer & Sound Designer Andrée Greenwell
Movement & Fight Director Nigel Poulton
Voice & Text Coach Jess Chambers

WITH

Zindzi Okenyo
Vivienne Awosoga
Danny Ball
Marissa Bennett
Mandy Bishop
Will McDonald
Suzanne Pereira
Duncan Ragg
Paul Reichstein
David Whitney

Returning from battle with Claudio and Benedick, Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, visits Leonato, Governor of Messina. Claudio falls in love with Leonato’s only daughter, Hero, while Benedick swaps insults with Leonato’s quick-witted niece Beatrice.

Don Pedro agrees to woo Hero on Claudio’s behalf at a masquerade ball. Don John, Don Pedro’s malevolent brother, uses the ball as an opportunity to stir up trouble. The misunderstanding is quickly resolved, and Claudio and Hero get engaged.

With nothing to do in the week before the wedding, Don Pedro plots to trick Beatrice and Benedick into falling in love with each other.

Meanwhile, Don John schemes to ruin the wedding, with the help of Borachio.

The Watch, led by Dogberry and Verges, overhear Borachio boasting of Don John’s malicious plan to his companion, Conrade, and they are both arrested.

The next day, at the wedding, Claudio publicly shames and denounces Hero, accusing her of being unfaithful. Hero collapses in shock, and Claudio storms off with Don Pedro and Don John. The Friar, believing Hero to be innocent, comes up with a plan to remedy the situation.

Meanwhile, Beatrice and Benedick admit their feelings to one another. Beatrice demands Benedick prove his love by challenging Claudio to a duel. Benedick reluctantly agrees.

Dogberry and Verges inform Leonato of Hero’s innocence. Claudio, thinking he caused Hero’s death, asks for Leonato’s forgiveness. Leonato tells Claudio that there will be another wedding…

DIRECTORS STATEMENT

Much Ado About Nothing is one of the first Shakespeare plays I fell in love with.

It is the original ‘from hate to love’ romantic comedy, but beneath its sparkling wit and hilarious characters, there is a dark conflict that drives the play to the edge of tragedy. Beatrice has a mind that is too radical for the world in which she finds herself. And Benedick must decide whether he will step up and be her ally, or continue to defend the status quo.

The story flips from uproarious comedy to utter heartbreak in an instant, and then back again. That is the genius of Shakespeare, and why this is one of my absolute favourites.

Behind the scenes video

Online Resources
Download the Much Ado About Nothing performance resources here.

See below for information on our performances of Much Ado About Nothing for schools. If your local venue isn’t listed below please contact them to enquire about group school bookings.

Arts Centre Melbourne (VIC)
Matinees open to schools and followed by a Q&A with the cast
Thursday 25 July 2019 11am
*This production  has been added to the  2019 VCE Theatre Studies Unit 4 Playlist

State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth (WA)
Thursday 7 August 11am

Theatre Royal, Hobart (TAS)
Friday 20 August, 11am

HOTA, Gold Coast (QLD)
Thursday 5 September, 10:30am

Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin (NT)
Friday 20 September, 10:30am

NORPA, Lismore (NSW)
Wednesday 25 September, 11am

Canberra Theatre Centre (ACT)
Matinees open to schools and followed by a Q&A with the cast
Thursday 17 October 2019 11am

Sydney Opera House (NSW)
Matinees open to schools and followed by a Q&A with the cast
Wednesday 30 October 2019 11am
Wednesday 6 November 2019 11am
Wednesday 13 November 2019 11am

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION 
– Book through Bell Shakespeare, via the details below, for performances at Arts Centre Melbourne, Canberra Theatre Centre and Sydney Opera House. For all other venues, please book directly via their box office.
– School matinees are $30 per student with one complimentary teacher ticket per 20 students. Additional teacher tickets at student prices. GST not applicable.
– Limited number of discounted tickets available in evening performances. Conditions apply. Please refer to Terms and Conditions.
– Australian Curriculum-linked classroom resources will be made available.

Regional students booked in to see Much Ado About Nothing will be eligible to participate in our complimentary Regional Access Workshops. Workshops can be booked through your local venue.

For more information or to make a schools booking contact Bell Shakespeare Learning.
Email: learning@bellshakespeare.com.au
Tel: 1300 305 730
Fax:
1300 552 271
Post:
PO Box 10, Millers Point, 2000

Orange Civic Theatre,  Orange (NSW)
12 – 13 July

Arts Centre Melbourne (VIC)
17 – 27 July

Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool (VIC)
30 July

Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo (VIC)
3 August

State Theatre Centre of WA, Perth (WA)
7 – 10 August

Albany Entertainment Centre, Albany (WA)
13 August

Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, Bunbury (WA)
15 August

Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Mandurah (WA)
17 August

Mildura Arts Centre, Mildura (VIC)
21 August

Griffith Regional Theatre, Griffith (NSW)
23 August

Arts Theatre, Burnie (TAS)
27 August

Theatre Royal, Hobart (TAS)
29 – 31 August

HOTA, Home of the Arts, Gold Coast (QLD)
4 – 5 September

Empire Theatre, Toowoomba (QLD)
7 September

Pilbeam Theatre, Rockhampton (QLD)
10 September

Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, Mackay (QLD)
12 September

Cairns Performing Arts Centre, Cairns (QLD)
14 September

Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs (NT)
17 September

Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin (NT)
20 September

NORPA, Lismore (NSW)
24 – 25 September

Capitol Theatre, Tamworth (NSW)
27 September

Glasshouse Theatre, Port Macquarie (NSW)
30 September – 1 October

Civic Theatre, Newcastle (NSW)
3 October

Dubbo Regional Theatre, Dubbo (NSW)
5 October

Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre, Wagga Wagga (NSW)
8 October

Canberra Theatre Centre (ACT)
 11 – 19 October
In Conversation (free event)Sunday 13 October 2019, 1pm

Sydney Opera House (NSW)
22 October – 24 November
In Conversation (free event) Sunday 27 October 2019, 1pm

Much Ado About Nothing