Much Ado About Nothing (2014): Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
PrMuch Ado About Nothing (2014)
PRINCIPAL CAST: Jason Baughan (Don Pedro); Marty Cruickshank (Leonata); Sandy Foster (Dogberry); Becci Gemmell (Hero); Gerard Kearns (Claudio); Ellie Piercy (Beatrice); Paul Ready (Benedick); Milo Twomey (Don John).
This production ran from 27 March - 3 May 2014.
"[Aberg's] version of Shakespeare's comedy is set in the make-do-and-mend era following the second world war. Spirits are high, though appearances are drab: Becci Gemmell's hearty Hero plights her troth in land-girl wellies, while Merle Hensel's utilitarian design is redolent of ration coupons and information posters advising folk to Keep Calm and Carry On." ~ Alfred Hickling, "Much Ado About Nothing/Royal Exchange, Manchester", Guardian, 9 April 2014
"The war is over. The men are back. It must be time to party. As the year is 1945 in Maria Aberg's staging of Shakespeare's Much Ado, Paul Ready's Benedick and his demobbed pals jive at a masked ball in their khaki jackets and army boots. They twizzle the ladies to the peppy trumpets of the big band classic Sing, Sing, Sing....Merle Hensel's set design leads us beautifully out of the funereal grief of Hero's supposed death, back into spring nuptials - with flowers scattered across the dark earth." ~ Kate Bassett, "Much Ado About Nothing/Royal Exchange, Manchester", Times, 4 April 2014