Five centuries on - and still flourishing

ANGELA CROMPTON
Last updated 15:33 04/12/2012

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Soldiers returning to Marlborough after serving in World War II set the scene for a 2012 take on Shakespeare's 16th century comedy Much Ado About Nothing.

Auditions for 19 cast members were held on Sunday and yesterday at the Boathouse Theatre in Blenheim and director Denise Moran hopes her decision to give it a "home-town feel" will encourage amateur actors.

The play is about two pairs of lovers, Benedick and Beatrice, and Claudio and Hero, and when Hero is accused of being unfaithful to Claudio she has to take her case to the mayor of Marlborough.

Characters who are "ladies in waiting" in Shakespeare's original script become Hero's friends in Mrs Moran's version.

Shakespeare might not have minded. He wrote Much Ado About Nothing in common language prose at a time when most plays were written in verse. Mrs Moran guesses the playwright would be "chuffed" to know people are still performing his works five centuries after he wrote them.

She is looking for a range of people to fill the roles: from teenagers to more experienced actors playing everyone from distinguished gentlemen and ladies to real villains. The Blenheim play will fall within a two-hour time slot, compared to the original script, which continued for three hours.

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- The Marlborough Express

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