It’s Much Ado About Nothing at HOTA

HOTA, Home of the Arts hosts one of Shakespeare’s sassiest and most memorable comedies this September.

Much Ado About Nothing delivers what its title promises, in a romantic, comedic, misunderstanding-ridden caper for the ages. Bell Shakespeare’s production is set to bring the comedy in spades, while also delving into the deeper subtext hidden behind the banter.

Claudio and Hero are deeply in love. Beatrice and Benedick would rather swap sassy insults than sweet nothings.

Much Ado About Nothing is a saucy and razor-sharp battle of wits between the bickering Beatrice and Benedick, who wield words as weapons, their banter betraying their love and loathing of each other.

However Claudio is quickly seduced by envy and this idyllic world threatens to come tumbling down as he humiliates Hero. Beatrice and Benedick must join forces to defend true love – even if they can’t recognise it in themselves.

But will truth and honesty win the day, and does love really conquer all?

Directed by Bell Shakespeare’s Associate Director, James Evans (Julius Caesar) and starring Zindzi Okenyo (Antony and Cleopatra, MTC’s An Ideal Husband) as Beatrice, this Much Ado About Nothing will be a powerful exploration of the struggle for identity and self-knowledge in a male-dominated world. The pursuit of love is framed in a social context that enhances the darker themes in this timeless comic gem.

Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare’s contemporary comedies where romance is thwarted by dastardly plots, misinformation, false accusations, broken promises, and bumbling cops. Or is it?

“Much Ado About Nothing is the original ‘from hate to love’ romantic comedy that we’ve seen repeated in films and plays since Shakespeare’s time,” says Director James Evans.

“But beneath its sparkling wit and hilarious characters, there is a dark conflict that drives this play to the edge of tragedy. The story flips from uproarious comedy to utter heartbreak in an instant, and then back again. That is the genius of Shakespeare, and why this play is one of my absolute favourites.”

As Australia’s national theatre company, Bell Shakespeare commits to making its work available to all Australians. HOTA, Home of the Arts is rolling out the red carpet for what promising to be an exciting and memorable production.

“No one does the Bard better than Bell Shakespeare,” says HOTA CEO Criena Gehrke.

“The ideas, language and imagery in this saucy, razor-sharp battle of wits truly showcases the beauty and complexity of his work.”

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Much Ado About Nothing may be set in high society, but its sense of humour is in the gutter. Even the title of the play was a dirty joke. The Elizabethans often described a certain part of the female anatomy as “no-thing”.
  • Much Ado’s hapless cop Dogberry was named after an English fruit that looks edible but tastes disgusting. Perhaps Shakespeare was alluding to his character’s cocky demeanour, which thinly veils his total ineptitude.

Catch Much Ado About Nothing when it shows on 4 and 5 September at HOTA, Home of the Arts. Tickets available at hota.com.au.

IMAGE (c) Pierre Toussaint

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