Much Ado About Nothing

     Much Ado About Nothing is a story of false accusations, salvaged reputations, love, wit and tension. Capturing 1950s Italian chic, our interpretation of Shakespeare's portrayal of the battle of the sexes, full of witty banter, will combine visually stunning choreography with clear physical characterisation. This rich and evocative production will use the vitality of a young and ambitious company to bring out the humour as well as the intensity of one of Shakespeare's greatest comedies.

     As the finale to an extensive three-week tour of Western Europe in December, ETG looks forward to returning to the home of Cambridge drama in January 2003. This enchanting and energetic new production conjures up a world of comedy and colour, bringing Shakespeare's wittiest masterpiece to life for audiences both in England and across the continent.


     Don Pedro, Prince of Arragon, pays a visit to Leonato, the governor of Messina, while returning from a victorious campaign against his rebellious brother, Don John. Accompanying him are two of his officers, Benedict and Claudio. While in Messina, Claudio falls for Leonato's daughter, Hero; Benedict verbally spars with Beatrice, the governor's niece. The budding love between Claudio and Hero prompts Don Pedro to arrange with Leonato for the marriage.

     Don Pedro (with the help of Leonato and Claudio) attempts to matchmake Benedict and Beatrice by convincing both Benedict and Beatrice that the other has professed a great love for them. The marriage of Claudio to Hero is about to happen when Don John, who despises Claudio, plots against him by staging an encounter that will bring Hero's virtue into question. Claudio falls for the ruse and denounces Hero at the altar. Friar Francis helps her, hiding her away and enlisting the aid of Leonato, who announces that his daughter has died of grief from the proceeding.

     Fortunately for Hero, Borachio is arrested while drunkenly boasting of his part in the plan (and the 1,000 ducats paid him). With Borachio's confession, Hero is to be exonerated. Leonato demands a public apology from Claudio, then tells him that he will allow Claudio to marry one of his nieces in Hero's place-a niece that turns out to be none other than Hero herself. Claudio and Hero are reunited and Benedict and Beatrice will wed alongside them.

Production Team

  • Tour Management – Ben Wood and Laura Greenfield
  • Directors – Kate Merriam and Dan Barnard
  • Technical Director – Christian Ashby
  • Lighting designer – Rob Asher
  • Set Designer – John Persaud
  • Costume designer – Liz Mylod
  • Stage Manager – Ros Pyne
  • Publicist – Hannah Fenton
  • Welfare Manager – Rachel Briscoe
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