With a successful season in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2014, and hot-off-the-heels of a month-long run in Chichester this year, Christopher Luscombe’s successful production of Much Ado About Nothing comes to the West End. Presented for the first time as a double-bill with Love’s Labour’s Lost (due to their seemingly complementary characters, themes and events), these two works combine as a celebration of William Shakespeare’s razor-sharp wit and the adeptness with which he handles romantic comedy. With a stunning design by Simon Higlett and music by Nigel Hess, Luscombe sets the piece in post-war Edwardian times, with newfound hope after such a dark period of time.
Lisa Dillon and Edward Bennett lead the production, with a 22-strong ensemble appearing in both Much Ado About Nothing and Love’s Labour’s Lost.
It’s the autumn of 1918 and Benedick and Claudio have returned from the trenches, world-weary and changed men. The two friends suddenly find themselves far from the battlefield and drenched in the glamour of sophisticated parties and masked balls. Reacquainted with Beatrice and Hero, two female friends from the time before the war, Claudio and Hero quickly fall madly in love, in contrast to the almost combative courtship that Benedick and Beatrice share. In Shakespeare’s much admired comedy, the lovers find their youthful passion running riot – but “the course of true love never did run smooth”. As deception threatens to spoil the happiness the lovers seek, will peace ultimately win?
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(5mins) Go along Coventry Street and then take Haymarket on the right where the theatre will be approx. 200 metres along.