Northern Broadsides are once again joining forces with the award-winning New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme to warm the hearts of theatregoers this spring with William Shakespeare’s glorious tale of antagonistic romance and chaotic comedy – Much Ado About Nothing.
Directed by Northern Broadsides new Artistic Director and Joint CEO Conrad Nelson, Much Ado About Nothing will be at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, from Tuesday 12 to Saturday 16 March.
Six long years of war are finally over. Returning soldiers swap the booming battlefield for a landscape of love, masked balls and much-needed laughter. Two young dreamers (Hero and Claudio) fall head over heels, while two others (Benedick and Beatrice) resume their combative courtship.
As faithful friends plot romance and a vengeful brother plans destruction, can true love conquer all, or will whispers and rumour win out? Told in true Northern Broadsides style and set at the end of World War II, this production of Shakespeare’s glorious romantic comedy, which was last performed by the company in 2000, is sure to capture your hearts this spring!
Director Conrad Nelson says: “27 years ago, I was offered a job with Kenneth Branagh’s Renaissance Theatre Company. At the end of run I was thrilled to be asked to play Hugh Oatcake in his joyous film version of Much Ado. You won’t find the part high on the list of Dramatis Personae, in fact you may not find it all, but I was there on location for eight weeks in the glorious Tuscan sunshine. It was the place to fall in love and a perfect setting for Shakespeare’s romantic comedy.
“In 2000 I played Benedick opposite my future wife, Deborah McAndrew, for Northern Broadsides – the last time the company performed the play. The hills of Tuscany gave way to the mill rooms and settings of the industrial North, but I still fell in love again.
“The play’s the thing... I know a little bit more about love now and a little bit more about drama and it is a privilege to bring this feel good masterpiece to life again.”
The production’s cast features Richard J Fletcher (Oh! What A Lovely War, Oldham Coliseum) as Don John; Rachel Hammond (Babe: The Sheep Pig) as Ursula; Sophia Hatfield (When We Were Married, Northern Broadsides) as Margaret; Anthony Hunt (The Commitments, West End and Hard Times, Northern Broadsides) as Borachio; Sarah Kameela Impey (The Tempest, RSC andPinocchio, National Theatre) as Hero; Linford Johnson (The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, Park Theatre, War Horse, National Theatre and Showboat, Sheffield Crucible) as Claudio; James McClean (New Tricks, Bolton Octagon) as Messenger; Isobel Middleton (Anna Tregorran in The Archers, BBC Radio 4, Emmerdale and Cracker, ITV, and Eric, Ernie and EastEnders, BBC) as Beatrice; David Nellist (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and War Horse,National Theatre and Sherlock, BBC) as Dogberry; Heather Phoenix (The Rivals,Theatre by the Lake) as Conrade: Matt Rixon (Hairspray, UK Tour and Around The World In 80 Days, New Vic/Royal Exchange) as Don Pedro ; Robin Simpson(Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre) as Benedick, Simeon Truby (The Pitman Painters, New Vic Theatre) as Leonato; Robert Wade (Cyrano, Northern Broadsides) as Balthazar and Andrew Whitehead (An August Bank Holiday Lark, Northern Broadsides) as Antonio/Friar.
Co-producing with Staffordshire’s New Vic Theatre, the production’s creative team includes Lis Evans (An August Bank Holiday Lark) with lighting by Daniella Beattie, and musical direction by Rebekah Hughes. Regulars at the New Vic Theatre, this will be Northern Broadsides tenth co-production with the venue. Previous co-productions have included The Tempest (2007), The Canterbury Tales (2010), Love’s Labour’s Lost (2012), the award-winning An August Bank Holiday Lark (2014), The Merry Wives (2016) and Cyrano (2017).
Much Ado About Nothing can be seen at the SJT on Tuesday 12, Wednesday 13 and Friday 15 March at 7.30pm; on Thursday 14 March at 1.30pm and 7.30pm; and on Saturday 16 March at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets are priced from £10 and can be purchased at the Box Office on 01723 370541 or online at www.sjt.uk.com
For more information visit www.northern-broadsides.co.uk