She speaks poniards, and every word stabs.
Act II, scene i
Marriage sunders friends.
There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.
Man and Superman, George Bernard Shaw
Much Ado About Nothing
Written by William Shakespeare
Performed in English
One of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies, Much Ado About Nothing, tells the stories of two couples. Claudio and Hero are madly in love and agree to marry. Benedick and Beatrice swear that they despise love and treat each other with disdain.
Benedick and Beatrice’s friends can see through their ‘merry war’ of wit and realise that they are ideally suited for each other. They plot to bring them together. However, this tale of secret love, courtship and marriage is intertwined with a darker side of Shakespeare’s Messina, where warfare, deception and serious mischief prevail.
The first performance of Much Ado About Nothing was on 12th February 1998 at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham. The running time was approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes, and included two fifteen minute intervals.
Produced by Cheek by Jowl. Co-produced by Théâtre National de Bretagne and Le Maillon Théâtre de Strasbourg.
“Bold, thoughtful and almost clinical reading of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy”The New York Times
|Stephen Mangan||Don Pedro|
|Paul Goodwin||Don Juan|
|Andrew Price||Balthasar/Friar Francis/First Watchman|
|Riz Abbasi||Messenger/Second Watchman|
|Lighting Designer||Judith Greenwood|
|Movement Director||Jane Gibson|
|Composer and Music Director||Paddy Cunneen|
|Assistant Director||Dan Jemmett|
|Accent Coach||Joan Washington|
|Voice Coach||Patsy Rosenburg|
|Company Stage Manager||Simon Sturgess|
|Production Manager||Anthony Alderson|
|Wardrobe Manager||Fiona McCann|
|Deputy Stage Manager||Mike Draper|
|6 June–6 August 1998||London, Playhouse Theatre, UK|
|26–27 May 1998||Moscow, Maly Theatre, Russia|
|20–22 May 1998||Stockholm, Dramaten, Sweden|
|11–16 May 1998||Reckinghausen, Vestlandhalle, Germany|
|4–7 May 1998||Strasbourg, Le Maillon Théâtre, France|
|20–28 April 1998||Rennes, Theatre Nacional de Bretagne, France|
|25 March–6 April 1998||New York, Majestic Theatre, USA|
|14–16 March 1998||Barcelona, Mercat de les Flors, Spain|
|10–13 March 1998||Darlington, Civic Theatre, UK|
|3–9 March 1998||Sheffield, Lyceum Theatre, UK|
|24 February–1 March 1998||Bath, Theatre Royal, UK|
|17–23 February 1998||Cambridge, Cambridge Arts Theatre, UK|
|12–16 February 1998||Cheltenham, Everyman Theatre, UK|
“Bold, thoughtful and almost clinical reading of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy…Along with the elegant inventiveness of staging that has become its trademark, Cheek by Jowl always provides a careful interpretive focus that forces you to reconsider familiar classics.”The New York Times
“Bubbles over with generosity, theatricality and wit.”The Observer
“Let me be quite clear: Cheek by Jowl’s Much Ado About Nothing is wonderful. Not only is it constantly surprising and extraordinarily moving, it is full of wonder… You simply feel as if you drink in the play’s living, breathing passion.”The Independent
“The staging is lucid and fluid , with every member of the ensemble gainfully employed in the task of telling the sex war comedy in a manner that is choreographed without being showy, as tightly bound as a corset and yet still pulsating with life.”Time Out
“Full of wonder… You simply feel as if you drink in the play’s living, breathing passion.”The Independent