Much Ado About Nothing (1934): Old Vic Theatre Company
PrMuch Ado About Nothing (1934)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Maurice Evans (Benedick); Nancy Hornsby (Hero); Mary Newcomb (Beatrice); Abraham Sofaer (Don Pedro); Cecil Trouncer (Leonato); Alan Webb (Claudio).
This production ran from 5 - 24 November 1934.
"Punctuated by the poppings of squibs outside the Old Vic, the wisecracks of Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing lacked something of spontaneity, rhythm, and point. Under-rehearsal is fatal to them, and there were other indications that this production was on the hasty and slipshod side. Mr. Henry Cass, the producer, put himself in the wrong with me at the start by dressing his men in Elizabethan costume and his women in 18th-century dress..." ~ Evening News, 6 November 1934
"Shakespeare with a Barrie flavour is what Mr. Henry Cass gave us in his revival of Much Ado About Nothing at the Old Vic last night. 'The reason for the difference in period between the men's and women's costumes is that the periods chosen seemed to me the most attractive and suitable for each sex,' he states in a programme note. What this amounts to is that while the actors are expressing the author's intentions, the actresses seem to be playing exceprts from Quality Street, wearing Kate Greenaway frocks and carrying parasols. Plainly enough Mr. Cass is suffering from the desire, which afflicts many of our younger producers, to be clever....So fine a portrait of Don Pedro is drawn by Mr. Abraham Sofaer that we wish he had resisted the temptation to sing 'Sigh, no more, ladies' in place of Balthasar." ~ M. Wilson Disher, "Barrie touch in Shakespeare," Daily Mail, 6 November 1934