The Queens Theatre welcomed new Director Douglas Rintoul in October 2015 and this was the first of many great shows to come. A wonderful start to commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with the launch of Much Ado About Nothing which was thought to be written around 1598.
I can’t confess to being a Shakespeare fan, however that only made for a pleasant surprise. The cast were enthusiastic to the point it became contagious. The set looked wonderful initiating Italy, a picturesque country house garden and the hedges made way for the rumors to be effective.
Hattie Ladbury played the part of Beatrice in her post war overalls. Determind not to fall in love “I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me.” While Thomas Padden as the joker Benedict reminds us: “All women shall pardon me, I shall live a bachelor.” The performers have a rich background of experience from the West End.
The romantic production driven by a rumor that Benedict and Beatrice loved each other all they had to do was get them to accept, could it to be true? This led to a collection of very funny performances and lines defending themselves against such love.
Meanwhile another already developed love was about to hit a wall of lies and dishonesty as Amber Jones who played Hero and James Siggens as Claudio are faced with a tragedy exploring a theme of infidelity. The characters were very suited to there roles and portrayed them with great understanding.
The production is very funny and quirky filled with misunderstandings and a cast that really brings the show to life. The masked ball was a captivating and significant moment within. There was some vibrant jazz music including Al Jolson’s Made Me Love You, perfect for the time it is set. There was even a community choir chorus consisting of twelve people which was beautiful.
My favorite scenes were when Dogberry returned to the stage. The hilarious constable, full of character stole the show in my opinion, Fancy footwork side stepping just added to the curiosity, I couldn’t work out who the character seemed to be taking off but I was totally glued.
This hilarious production of a Shakespeare classic a great show full of talented contagious performers is deffinately worth a watch for the whole family.