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Much Ado about Nothing

By William Shakespeare

Royal Exchange Theatre, 1 April 2014

Ellie Piercy as Beatrice and Paul Ready as Benedick in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Royal Exchange Theatre until 3 May).  Photo - Jonathan Keenan.

Ellie Piercy as Beatrice and Paul Ready as Benedick in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Royal Exchange Theatre until 3 May). Photo – Jonathan Keenan.

A very fine production, full of verve and vim, of what is undoubtedly the greatest screwball comedy of them all.

As added spice, though he is actually an essential ingredient, it has a delicious baddie and a genuine bastard in the form of Don John.  His malice acts as a sort of seasoning: it stops the romances from becoming tasteless and bland.  Iago and Richard III are similar types, shitstirrers Shakespearean style.  He relished their diabolical scheming, and we do too, don’t we?

Rich in abrasive wit (betwixt Benedick and Beatrice) and heartfelt emotion (Claudio and Hero), it is a play that cannot help but amuse and move, especially when done as well as here.

A sweet triumph.

Much Ado about Nothing is at the Royal Exchange Theatre until 3 May, further details can be found here.

 

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