Another outdoor Globe Theatre production, Much Ado About Notiing, is to be screened at the State Cinema.
This richly humorous play is not without its moments of darkness but, as the title suggests, there is a lot of fuss over nothing.
Set in Messina, a port on the island of Sicily, Claudio and Hero are very much in love and plan to get married, but the villainous Don John leads Claudio to believe that Hero has been false. Themes such as these were common in plays in 16th-century England.
Suspecting slander and in order to prove her innocence, Hero's family spreads word that Hero has died after a fit of fainting on hearing the news. Claudio is among those who mourn Hero's death.
However, it is the love of two of Shakespeare's reluctant lovers which provides the most comic and empathetic moments in the play. Beatrice and Benedick are two of the Bard's wittiest lovers, who continually proclaim their scorn for love and marriage and each other. Eve Best, recipient of the Olivier Award for Best Actress, and Charles Edwards, with his fine comic instinct, are a formidable duo in these roles.
In the final scene, Don John's evil plot is revealed, Beatrice and Benedick publicly declare their love for each other, and two weddings are about to go ahead.
Jeremy Herrin's production played to packed houses during its summer run. With many of its audience standing, the "groundlings" (for a fiver) become a part of the viewing, making this theatre experience unique.
Herrin's direction no doubt enhances the play's potential to be mildly slapstick, but it is the liveliness of the Globe which keeps the fire burning throughout the play.
Herrin is supported by Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole.
He covers the stage with tempting blue pools of water and transforms great pillars into fruit-laden orange trees.
Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare's richest comedies and is a great introduction for young audiences. It is one of the few in the Shakespeare canon where the majority of the text is written in prose.
- Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Jeremy Herrin, Shakespeare Globe, 2011, 186 minutes including intermission, State Cinema, Sun 2.30pm, Mon 5.15pm, Wed 11am. Adults $25, seniors/children $20.