Reviewed: Much Ado About Nothing at Dubai Opera

Here’s the lowdown on William Shakespeare’s comedic play

Reviewed: Much Ado About Nothing at Dubai Opera

Much Ado About Nothing kicked off its four-day stint at Dubai Opera this week and it’s nothing short of phenomenal.

It’s not always easy to think of William Shakespeare beyond the context of a school classroom, which can be a little off-putting to say the least, but this show-stopping production of Much Ado About Nothing blew us – and all thoughts of dusty textbooks – away.

Highly revered as one of Shakespeare’s wittiest plays, award-wining British director Derek Bond, takes things up a notch in the comedic stakes with his hilarious take on this classic story.

Interspersed with modern pop songs sung in Italian (we found ourselves humming along to Beyonce’s Single Ladies and Uptown Funk as well as She Loves You by the Beatles), costumes that wouldn’t look out of place in a seventies sitcom and plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, the character’s performances are larger than life and have us gripped from the start.

For those who need a refresher, the plot follows two intertwined love stories – that of cousins Hero and Beatrice with their respective suitors, Claudio and Benedict.

Claudio and Hero become engaged, while Beatrice and Benedict are more interested in outwitting and belittling each other than actually admitting how they really feel.

Things don’t go smoothly for either couple. A sinister attempt by a jealous villain to break apart the love birds before their wedding day ends in tragedy. This runs simultaneously alongside a scheme actioned by the whole cast to make Beatrice and Benedict realise that they are made for each other.

The acting is excellent, the chemistry between Kirsten Foster who plays Beatrice and Simon Darwen in the role of Benedict is particularly palpable.

But the proper eye-streaming laughs come in the form of the two hammed-up policemen trying to get to the bottom of the matrimonial sabotage.

The stellar cast of just 11 actors manages to effortlessly maintain the momentum throughout the show and at no point does it feel like it’s running too long (allow just over three hours from taking your seat including a 15-minute interval).

The words may always be the same, but the performances are so very different – this version is running until Saturday September 28 and we think it’s safe to say it’s one of the best interpretations of Much Ado About Nothing that you are likely to see.

And in October musical sensation The Phantom of the Opera is coming to Dubai Opera.
From Dhs150. 8pm Wed Sept 25-Thu Sep 26, 2pm and 8pm Fri 27-Sat 28 Sep. Dubai Opera, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com (04 440 8888).

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