Two young lovers Claudio and Hero are to be married imminently but the devious scheming of a resentful Prince looks set to thwart the nuptials. Meanwhile, marriage seems inconceivable for reluctant lovers Beatrice (Catherine Tate) and Benedick (David Tennant) whose endless witty sparring threatens to keep them apart forever.
Then Donmar Warehouse director, Josie Rourke, brought a contemporary twist to Shakespeare’s classic comedy as she set the production in 1980’s Gibraltar. The production is best known for its casting of David Tennant and Catherine Tate in leading roles as this marked the first time the pair had worked together since their time on screen as Doctor Who and his assistant, Donna.
Rourke’s production, produced by Sonia Friedman, was largely true to Shakespeare’s original narrative. However, it had many modern day nuances peppered throughout the performance. For instance, as well as being set in 80’s Gibraltar, Rourke played up the text’s military element, setting the scene as if the action takes place in a holiday location for ex-soldiers who are recuperating after war.
Much Ado About Nothing previewed at the Wyndham’s Theatre on May 16th 2011, with opening night on the 1st June 2011. The show closed after a limited but successful run on the 3rdSeptember 2011.
This production of Much Ado About Nothing was recorded by Digital Theatre and is available to download (for a fee) from their website.
CAST INCLUDES: David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Jonathan Coy, Adam James, Tom Bateman, Sarah MacRae, Elliot Levey, Natalie Thomas, Joshua Berg, Alex Beckett, Lee Knight, Mike Grandy, Enzo Squillino Junior, Kathryn Hunt, Clive Hayward.
Awards and Critical Reception
This production of Much Ado About Nothing was hailed a success by critics and audiences alike. The Telegraph gave the show four stars, praising Rourke’s production as witty and inventive. Similarly, The Guardian gave the production four stars and hailed the show as “spirited.”
This production received seven BroadwayWorldUK Awards, two WhatsOnStage Awards and was nominated for a Laurence Oliver Award.
‘Tennant and Tate sparkle in Much Ado.’
‘A supremely well cast production.’
‘Rourke’s production has a freshness and a wit that is often irresistible…
A mixture of slapstick and flight that reduces the audience to a state of blissful hilarity.’
‘A new generation is wooed.’
‘There is much to love here and nothing to fault.’
‘The feel-good hit of the summer’
‘This one looks sure to be a big summer hit.’