Monday, 22 August 2011

Much Ado About Nothing; a fantastic theatre experience

Much Ado About Nothing has been running at Wyndham's Theatre since June this year. It finishes in September, but this week I was privileged to get the opportunity to see this adaptation of William Shakespeare's famous play, staring David Tennant and Catherine Tate.
While the setting and costumes have been updated, the original language has been used, and the mix of the two is original and well done. In my opinion it has refreshed the play, and introduced an entire new generation to the works of Shakespeare.
Of course, many people will be familiar with both David Tennant, the ex-Doctor Who star, and his co-star Catherine Tate, famous for the Catherine Tate Show, as well as playing Donna in Doctor Who. However, most of the Cast have also appeared in several films, television shows and radio, as well as performing on stage. In addition, may of the cast are making their acting debut, or stage debut. Watching the show, you would not know that many of them had not been in a stage show before, because all of the cast is superb throughout.
It isn't just the cast that has excelled in bringing this classic of Shakespeare's to life. Though, of course, the actors have brought it to life with the performance, and the wit and humour throughout, as well as the skill they use, it is also the directing which allows such comedy to shine through. Several moments shine out in my memory; the moment when, without spoiling anything, Benedick, played by David Tennant, bursts on stage in uniform, in a golf buggy, and the moment when he hides behind the pillar, accidentally covering his hand in white paint, and then emerges, minutes later, covered in it; and when Catherine Tate hides under a sheet, whilst listening to a staged conversation, not realising that the other characters knew she was there all along.
Even the very end, when the lights go out, and you realise it's the end of this fantastic play, is pleasing to see. Not because you are glad for it to be over, not by a long way, but rather because it is when you see the cast bound back on stage and take a bow with as much energy as the cast of this classic, it is particularly satisfying, because you know just how much they enjoy what they do, and you know how much you enjoyed it too.
Overall, it was a thoroughly fantastic experience, and I'm sure it will bring a new generation to enjoy Shakespeare and keep the classic alive for years to come. 

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