The Rose Theatre Kingston celebrates its 10th anniversary with a blistering new production of Shakespeare’s comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, starring Mel Giedroyc.
Directed by Simon Dormandy, the co-production with Granville & Parham Productions and antic | face, will be the centrepiece of the venue’s celebrations, and runs from April 13.
Don Pedro is victorious. Having won a turf war down in the city, the Mafia overlord and his entourage take over the luxury spa venue, Hotel Messina, in order to hide-out, party and recover deep in the Sicilian hills.
As hotel owner, Leonato, fawns over his clan boss, his beautiful daughter Hero wins the heart of Claudio, the Don’s young protégé.
Meanwhile, the no-nonsense, customer experience manager Beatrice has unfinished business to attend to with Benedick, Pedro’s commitment-phobic consigliere.
But when Hero is disgraced, the party is over, love turns to hatred and new battle lines are drawn.
Beneath its witty surface, Much Ado About Nothing is a powerful exploration of the struggle for love, identity and self-knowledge in a male-dominated world – as relevant today as ever before.
The production will use Shakespeare’s original language in a sharp contemporary setting that not only offers glorious opportunities for physical comedy amid the furnishings of a spa hotel but also provides a social context that enhances the darker themes in Shakespeare’s timeless masterpiece.
Executive Producer of Rose Theatre Kingston, Jerry Gunn said: “We are delighted to be producing Shakespeare’s most popular comedy Much Ado about Nothing for the first time, and in our tenth anniversary year, with the superb Mel Giedroyc.
“I’m very excited to see Mel put her stamp on the role, and it is entirely fitting to have such a popular actress and performer playing Beatrice, something our founding artistic director, Sir Peter Hall, would have been enchanted by.”
Director, Simon Dormandy added: “A contemporary Sicilian setting offers the perfect social context for the play: an inflexibly patriarchal world.
“It is where daughters still marry as their fathers decree; a world brittle with honour and the law of vendetta; a south-Mediterranean world where a wedding is a major community event, and a shrine is still a place where magical things might just happen.
“Much Ado About Nothing is more than just funny: it is full of joy, a joy that springs as much from the overcoming of darkness by light – of brutal codes of behaviour by wit, imagination and love – as from wonderful jokes and sublime clowning.
“Mel is an outstandingly subtle, powerful actor, as well as a very funny one, and we’re sure, an unforgettable Beatrice.”
Much Ado About Nothing runs at Rose Theatre Kingston, from April 13 – May 6.