Much Ado About Nothing at the New Vic Theatre is a delightful take on Shakespeare’s romantic comedy.
Co-produced by the New Vic and Northern Broadsides, the theatre in the round is transported back to the end of World War II with a 15-strong cast who all deliver in a delectable manner.
Set against the backdrop of a 40s setting, returning soldiers find themselves heavily involved with the trials and tribulations of romance and love.
Friendships are tested, gender issues are addressed and betrayal is evident – what you would expect from a Shakespeare play.
In the opening scenes humour is rife, but as the story develops about two sets of lovers – Benedick and Beatrice and Claudio and Hero – dramatic scenes unfold.
As well as facing their own battles and barriers when accepting love there is manipulation and interference from friends and family who attempt to destroy any romance.
Dramatic scenes captivate the audience as the dutiful Hero, the daughter of Leonato, is irrevocably tarnished at her own wedding and husband to be – Claudio shows a different side to his “nice boy” personality.
Beatrice, however is stronger than Hero and her confident and forceful presence only draws Benedick closer to her side.
Robin Simpson is truly convincing as Benedick, bringing humour in every angle and a scene which involves some audience participation has everyone in uproar.
The delightful Isobel Middleton is equally as hilarious and emotive along with Sarah Kameela Impey (Hero) and Linford Johnson as Claudio.
As well as delivering an all round fantastic acting performance, cast members also perform songs and play instruments to compliment this adaptation which is directed by Northern Broadsides’ Artistic Director Conrad Nelson.
Much Ado About Nothing is powerful, there’s laughter, drama and everything you would look for in a Shakespeare play in the round for 2019.
**Much Ado About is at the New Vic until March 2. Go to Baba’s What’s ON for more details.