Northern Broadsides returns to York Theatre Royal with Shakespeare’s glorious tale of antagonistic romance and chaotic comedy Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Broadsides former artistic director Conrad Nelson, from May 14 to 18.
Six long years of war are finally over. Returning soldiers swap the booming battlefield for a landscape of love, masked balls and much-needed laughter. Two young dreamers (Hero and Claudio) fall head over heels, while two others (Benedick and Beatrice) resume their combative courtship.
As faithful friends plot romance and a vengeful brother plans destruction, can true love conquer all, or will whispers and rumour win out? Told in true Northern Broadsides style and set at the end of World War II, this production of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, which was last performed by the company in 2000, is sure to capture the hearts of audiences.
Director Conrad Nelson said: “Twenty seven years ago, I was offered a job with Kenneth Branagh’s Renaissance Theatre Company.
" At the end of run I was thrilled to be asked to play Hugh Oatcake in his joyous film version of Much Ado. You won’t find the part high on the list of dramatis personae, in fact you may not find it all, but I was there on location for 8 weeks in the glorious Tuscan sunshine. It was the place to fall in love and a perfect setting for Shakespeare’s romantic comedy.
“In 2000 I played Benedick opposite my future wife, Deborah McAndrew for Northern Broadsides – the last time the company performed the play. The hills of Tuscany gave way to the mill rooms and settings of the industrial North, but I still fell in love again. The play’s the thing... I know a little bit more about love now and a little bit more about drama and it is a privilege to bring this feel good masterpiece to life again. Thank you Mr Branagh for that wonderful summer.”
Isobel Middleton plays as Beatrice and Robin Simpson is Benedick. Sarah Kameela Impey is Hero and Linford Johnson plays Claudio.
Tickets: 01904 623568 or yorktheatreroyal.co.uk