Much Ado About Nothing
ARENAarts presents
Much Ado About Nothing

5 Aug 2016 to 20 Aug 2016

ONE of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies – first performed in 1598 – comes alive at Belmont’s Latvian Centre Theatre this August.

Directed by Joanne Lamont for ARENAarts, Much Ado About Nothing is the story of Messina soldiers returning home from war victorious to reunite with their prospective brides.

The regal Don Pedro and charming Claudio hatch a plot to use gossip, hearsay and rumour to convince their confirmed bachelor friend, wise-cracking Benedick, and the witty firebrand spinster Beatrice to fall in love with each other.

But the malcontent Don Jon uses similar methods for darker purposes, slandering the innocent Hero on her wedding day and leaving her for dead.

Beatrice, Benedick and their friends have to pick up the pieces – and confirm that it really was all much ado about nothing.       

“After half a lifetime spent theatre-making and performing, this will be the first time I’ve been courageous, ego-mad and stupid enough to perform a lead role I’ve wanted to play since I was 13 and also direct the entire production at the same time,” Lamont said.

“Learning lines, running scenes and then jumping out of those scenes to see how the play is presenting and supporting my fellow performers with their roles has been crazy and fun.

“I figured if noted Shakespeareans Kenneth Branagh, Kevin Spacey and Mark Rylance can do it, why can’t I?

“It’s also a dream and challenge come true for my real-life husband Michael and I to be playing two of Shakespeare’s most popular pair of reluctant lovers, Beatrice and Benedick.”

Lamont said Kenneth Branagh’s 1993 film version of Much Ado About Nothing had long been a favourite, inspiring her to direct the play.

“The fabulous cast looked like they were having so much fun filming on location in Tuscany and it spills out of the film and into your heart,” she said.

“I wanted to see if I could create the same infectious humour on stage for a Perth audience.

“I’m also inspired by staging techniques performed at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London – 400-year-old theatre-making conventions not seen for a long time can suddenly become innovative for a new generation of theatre-goers.”     

Acting since the late 1990s, Lamont has worked with Endeavour Theatre, WA Youth Theatre Company, Graduate Dramatic Society and extensively with ARENAarts on a variety of Terry Pratchett stage adaptations.

With husband Michael and friends, she also launched Upstart Theatre Company to tour outdoor productions of Shakespeare in the Swan Valley.

Much Ado About Nothing will be different to other Shakespearean productions, according to Lamont, because it will deliver an immersive experience for the audience.

“There’s no hiding in the darkness for our spectators – they will be basking in the same light as the actors and sharing space, eye contact and interactions with them,” she said.

“Only minimal props and scenery are used to set a cracking pace and flow for the drama and action where the focus is always on the actors, their costumes and Shakespeare’s beautiful words.

“Audience members are invited to hear, as well as see, the play.”   

Much Ado About Nothing plays at 8pm August 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 with 2pm matinees August 7 and 14. Tickets are $20, $16 concession – book on 9399 9947, arenaarts@hotmail.com.au or at www.trybooking.com/LUDK.

The Latvian Centre Theatre is at 60 Cleaver Terrace, Belmont.

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Venue
Latvian Centre Theatre
Session TimesTicket PricesDuration
145 mins
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