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Much Ado About Nothing

Auckland University Students Association Outdoor Summer Shakespeare
Michael is Production Advisor and Chair of AUSA Outdoor Shakespeare Trust

3-24 March 2012, University Clock Tower Lawn

Luke Thornborough   Benedick  
Jess Bates
Alex MacDonald
Natalie Braid   Hero  
Lucy Smith
  Don John  
Sam Blood
Craig Serventy
  Don Pedro  
Chris Bryan
Jemery Brett
Kieran Maskell
Andrew Parker
Lisa Fothergill   Margaret  
Jessica Stansfield   Ursula  
Alex Kirch   Borachio  
Alexandra Clare   Balthazar  
Jason Conran   Friar Francis  
Bridget Dolan   Sexton  
Mo Kheir   Watch 1  
Shaan Kesha   Watch 2  
Joanna Olsen   Watch 3  
Eli Moore   piano  
Tristan Deck   drums  
Scott Kendall   bass  
Liz Stokes   trumpet  
Ben Sinclair   clarinet  
Sam Pascoe   Director  
Oliver Rosser   Producer  



Synopsis & Director's Note

As the nuptial day of the two young lovers, Claudio and Hero, draws closer, a scheming Prince John the Bastard plots to overthrow their happiness.  Meanwhile Beatrice and Benedick, two characters who seem to outwardly abhor each other, and thus would make the perfect couple, are engaged in a witty sparring match that threatens to keep them from the realisation of their love.

Much Ado about Nothing is on one of the most light-hearted and relatable of Shakespeare's plays, and it was for those reasons that I chose to direct it for AUSA's Outdoor Summer Shakespeare 2012.  Everybody knows a 'Beatrice', who is strong willed to the point of stubbornness, and a 'Benedick', who swears that he will never commit to one woman until she maintains the graces of every woman in the world; if you are unlucky then perhaps you even know a 'Don John', "whose very spirit toils in the frame of villainies".

So, please, allow us to plunge you into the nineteen forties, where the Second World War has just ended, spirits are high and soldiers are returning to Great Britian triuphant.  Join us for some Shakspare under the stars...


Much Ado about Nothing

NZ Herald:  "The lead roles are solidly handled and the show sparkles whenever the reluctant lovers Benedick and Beatrice take centre stage.  . . . Luke Thornborough's Benedick is an absolute triumph.  . . . you can be assured of an enchanting entertainment".

Theatreview:  " . . . a tightly directed little charmer, authentically liberal in interpretation and heavy on the comedy.  . . . director Sam Pascoe provides strong, easy comprehension for the language of Spakespeare along with excellent comic timing both slapstick and screwball, not to mention a sharp eye for casting.  . . . Besides strong and engaging characterisation, the natural ease with which the cast deliver the centirues-old dialogue means only the barest amount of Shakespearean knowledge should be required for anyone to appreciate the majority of the play".