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Much Ado About Nothing.’ (The First Half!) Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon.

March 30, 2022


Three flamboyantly dressed people standing on a raised dais flanked by a crowd
Photo; RSC

It’s a big, bombastic, futuristic and vibrant Messina is this latest ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ from the R.S.C. There is a merry war ‘twixt Beatrice and Benedick and here it’s often very merry. The locals and returning soldiers have a beautiful sci-if, EuroAfrican flavour and, as is usually the case at the R.S.C, stunning costumes, set, music and choreography. It’s a talented team, directed by Roy Alexander Weiss. 

It’s not perfect though. Occasionally some of the (already light) narrative lacks focus and there are occasional problems with diction, which you don’t expect from a company with such a huge creative talent pool. But there are some outstanding performances. Akita Henry is a mesmerising, mischievous Beatrice and more than a match for Luke Wilson’s more measured Benedick. 

Overall though it feels magnificently playful and modern and I could watch the stylised movement and choreography all day! And I will be able to soon. And so will you! The reason I only watched the first half of Much Ado is that I’ve been in Stratford on Avon for a workshop – ‘Digitising Theatre.’ I was lucky enough to be selected by the Arts Council of England and Screenskills to attend this event, designed to provoke creative thoughts about filming, capturing and adapting theatre productions digitally. It’s given me some new skills (yep, even at my age!) and some new ideas on what I might do with MY Shakespeare adaptations and variations and other works. And the filming in the RST of Much Ado was our ‘case study’! So I shall see the second half of Much Ado About Nothing when it is aired on BBC 4 later this year. And rather than watch the second half, I used the time instead to sit in the Dirty Duck Pub in Stratford to write this (with a pint, of course). It’s great that you’ll be able to see the show for free, thanks to our B.B.C. And you should. It’s another triumph for our R.S.C!

Wine Glass Rating…. 🍷🍷🍷🍷 (4 out of 5)


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The Cast of The Shark Is Broken

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Love of the common people. Some of the team behind the Fitzrovia Arts Festival.

Full disclosure. I’m from Birmingham. And I love Britain’s Second City. But I’ve been flirting with London for nearly 40 years and I’ve been here full-time for over 15 years. When I first came to live in London – south of the river – I travelled with a baseball bat for security. Now this might sound extreme, but remember, no one from my family had ever been further from Brum than Wales for summer holida...

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Virginia Woolf: writing death and illness into the national story of post-first world war Britain.

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Another interesting piece from The Conversation, by Jess Cotton, Lecturer at the School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Cardiff University.

Illness, unlike war, as English academic and writer Elizabeth Outka brilliantly demonstrates in her book Viral Modernism(2019), is a story that easily slips out of cultural and historical memory.

In illness, the modernist writer Virginia Woolf observed, “We cease to be soldiers in the army of the upright; we become deserters.” Woolf, writing i...

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About Us

Nick Hennegan Hello. I'm Nick Hennegan and I started the London Literary Pub Crawl. Most of the blogs on here will be by me. I've always written but my first theatrical success was an adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Henry V' ( I founded Maverick Theatre in 1994. ( This pub crawl is really more a promenade theatre performance than a tour and I'm running it with a bunch of enthusiastic local actors and writers. I love sharing my passion for the area and the artists. I also present a radio show on Resonance 104.4fm - London's Arts Station and a podcast on our site. If you haven't visited us in London yet, I hope you'll come soon. Have a look at my new site, And feel free to leave comments or email me at nick @ - I reply to them all and I love to hear from you.


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