This summer, award-winning theatre company Antic Disposition will stage Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, in seven of England’s most beautiful cathedrals.
The UK tour will end at London’s historic Gray’s Inn Hall – one of the few remaining original Shakespearean venues – after an 11-date French tour in August.
Set in a sun-drenched French village celebrating the new peace of 1945, Antic Disposition’s Much Ado About Nothing draws its inspiration from the beloved films of French comic genius Jacques Tati (Jour de fête; Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot; Mon Oncle).
Combining the verbal fireworks of Shakespeare’s wittiest play with sharp physical comedy, the production is set to a score of live music and songs of the period.
Performed by a company from both sides of the Channel, audiences are introduced to a cast of vibrant and eccentric characters as the peaceful village square of Messina becomes the battlefield for the ‘merry war’ between Beatrice and Benedick, whose love-hate relationship forms the comic heart of the play.
For its special London run of 15 performances at Gray’s Inn Hall, the 16th-century, wood-panelled, hall will be transformed into a French village square, with a pétanque court, local bar, and the opportunity to watch the story unfold from on-stage café tables complete with questionable waiter service.
Directors Ben Horslen and John Risebero said: “One of the many joys of our recent production of Henry V was working with the supremely talented dual-nationality cast of British and French actors.
“It was an incredibly rewarding process and we all learnt so much from the experience.
“We are very excited to be approaching our new production of one of Shakespeare’s sunniest comedies in the same spirit of Anglo-French collaboration”.
Antic Disposition presents: Much Ado About Nothing. Playing:-
July 9-10, Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire
July 11, Peterborough Cathedral, Cambridgeshire
July 13–14, Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire
July 16–17, Beverley Minster, East Yorkshire
July 19, Wakefield Cathedral, West Yorkshire
July 20–21,Ripon Cathedral, North Yorkshire
July 23–24, Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucestershire
August 1-13, French tour
August 17–September 1, Gray’s Inn Hall, London.