Much Ado About Nothing (1986): Royal Shakespeare Company, RSC/Nat West Tour
PrMuch Ado About Nothing (1986)
PRINCIPAL CAST: David Brannick (Dogberry); Jacqueline Dankworth (Hero); Simon Dutton (Don John); Paul Rhys (Claudio); Fiona Shaw (Beatrice); Nigel Terry (Benedick); Martin Turner (Don Pedro); Paul Webster (Leonato).
This production toured nationally in repertory with Roger Michell's production of The Merchant of Venice.
"A simple, stripped pine stage was brought to vibrant life by the skilful use of props which looked as though they had been filched from a Conran Shop window-display. But while the lattice-backed chairs, striped awnings and multi-coloured drapes looked chic and bang-up-to-the-minute, they perfectly complemented the Regency-style costumes." ~ Kathryn Kelly, "Here's to the next time!", Tiverton Gazette, 21 October 1986
"Ron Daniels's production of Much Ado About Nothing is simply staged by the designer Di Seymour using light wooden flooring and arches relieved by blue panels and prettily varied parasols, awnings and folding chairs. Costumes are indeterminately 18th-century....Paul Rhys's Claudio is as yet an awkward presence, his Hero, Jacqueline Dankworth, rather a shallow rendering, her beauty distinctly skin deep." ~ Stella Flint, "RSC's Much Ado, Daily Telegraph, 22 October 1986
"Paul Rhys and Jacqueline Dankworth engaged our sympathies far more effectively than Jack and Jill Shakespearian couples like Florizel and Perdita in The Winter's Tale and Rhys's Claudio was a foreful, arrogant youth rather than just the impulsive jealous greenhorn who causes all the 'Ado' in the first place." ~ M.W., "A night to remember", West Briton and Royal Cornwall Gazette, 9 October 1986
"For Much Ado, the arches frame a blue and white marbled background. A rocking chair and straw hats set the scene for a sunny, almost Caribbean Messina. Both shows are handsome, both boast live music well played by a trio (percussion, wind, piano/guitar) under Jack Davies's directon. Jeremy Sam [sic] has composed lazily sinuous syncopations, vaguely Latin American, for Messina....Jacqueline Dankworth is a touching Hero. ~ Martin Hoyle, "RSC troupes Britain", Financial Times, 25 October 1986
"Jacqueline Dankworth as the girl jilted at the alter after untrue accusations about her chastity, is touching despite having a frustrating part, with little to say." ~ Jennifer Jobe, "Touch missing", News Post Leader, 6 November 1986
"Needless to say the truth comes to light eventually after heartrending scenes which Miss Dankworth and Mr Rhys give their all." ~ C.E., "There's plenty to say about Much Ado", North Western Evening Mail, 12 November 1986