Reviews are in for Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing at the Globe Theatre in London.
Lucy Bailey returns to the Globe to direct Shakespeare’s lively tale of jealousy, self-discovery and love.
The cast includes Ralph Davis as Benedick, Lucy Phelps as Beatrice, Katy Stephens as Leonata, Joanne Haworth as Antonia, Nadi Kemp-Sayfi as Hero, Patrick Osborne as Claudio, and Olivier Huband as Don John.
Alongside Bailey in the creative team is Joanna Parker (Designer), Orlando Gough (Composer), Clemmie Reynolds (Assistant Director and Dramaturg), Georgina Lamb (Choreographer), Caroline Hughes (Costume Supervisor), Renny Krupinski (Fight Director), Tess Dignan (Head of Voice) and Christine Schmidle (Text Associate).
Much Ado About Nothing is booking until 23 October 2022 at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London.
Much Ado About Nothing reviews
"Shakespeare’s sparring lovers start the Globe’s new season in style"
"Something about Much Ado’s sprawling mix of the cheering (flirtation, farce, love, redemption) and the sobering (misogyny, betrayal) seems to suit the Globe."
"And, in a production by Lucy Bailey that elegantly feminises some of the power structures, Katy Stephens is a standout always as the amusing, authoritative, Latin-tempered governor Leonata, but never more so than when she sings. She forms a fine double act with another older stateswoman, Antonia (Joanne Haworth). And everyone excels in the unabashedly slapstick rendition of the scene in which they engineer first Benedick (Ralph Davis) and then Beatrice (Lucy Phelps) into overhearing disinformation about how much the other one loves them. It’s very funny."
"Gaiety abounds in the Globe’s great garden party"
"Lucy Bailey’s ambling production of Shakespeare’s comedy, set in northern Italy on the eve of Mussolini’s defeat, exudes pastoral elegance and feels like the start of summer"
"The production as a whole seems to want to stick to gaiety and gambolling. Even the play’s central schemer, Don John (Olivier Huband), has deadpan humour. It works to create a consummately summer comedy, its lightness carrying an edge of our own post-lockdown lifting of the clouds."
"Much Ado About Nothing marks a welcome return to innovation and inspiration at the Globe"
"The ideological obsession that has marred too many Bankside shows recently is mercifully absent in Lucy Bailey's splendid production"
"The production opens the summer season, finally back at full capacity. More than that, defined by its attention to detail, it balances directorial innovation with actorly inspiration, avoiding the ideological rampancy of some recent shows here."
"Sunshine after a hard winter"
"The wartime setting, at times, feels a bit like dressing, primarily an excuse to strew the stage with accordions and eye-pleasing gowns, but Bailey – director of the Globe’s famously bloody Titus Andronicus – has a strong understanding of the space and this is a production of clarity as well as charm. The focus is on romance, the mood upbeat; the overall effect elegant, if a little restrained."
"The overall breezy tone means that the sudden shifts into darkness feels more marked – Beatrice’s injunction to kill Claudio causes audible gasps and Leonata’s turn against her daughter feels particularly brutal. The fact that it’s her mother condemning Hero makes it all the more chilling. But this darkness is quickly banished – it is not this show’s main aim - in a production intent on spreading good cheer and warm feeling, a little sunshine after a hard winter."