Saucy new production of Shakespeare’s comedy to be set in garrison town

Much Ado About Nothing

Press Night: Wednesday 5 October, 7.30pm

 Mercury Theatre Colchester has announced the casting line-up for the Made in Colchester production of Shakespeare’s comic battle of the sexes, Much Ado About Nothing. This saucy new production of the romantic comedy will be set in a modern-day garrison town and plays from Friday 30 September until Saturday 15 October.

The war is over. The boys are coming home, and the girls can’t wait for a summer of games to begin! The most talked-about young solider, Claudio, falls instantly for innocent and beautiful Hero (the daughter of his Garrison commander!). Brilliant Beatrice and ladies’ man Benedick, pick up where they left off – warring with wit and words.

As the soldiers return to civilian life, everyone seems to want to scheme – friends and enemies alike. Can Beatrice and Benedick be fooled into falling in love with one another? Can everyone’s favourite “perfect” couple – Claudio and Hero – be made to doubt their love and be taken down a peg or two? And what is true love, anyway? Is all the romance and heartache just much ado about nothing?

Playing the role of Benedick will be Jason Langley. Jason most recently appeared in the West End as Captain Nicholls in War Horse. Other theatre includes playing Nick Clegg in Nicked (Hightide), Ghosts (Greenwich Theatre), and Enron (West End).

Danielle Flett will play the feisty Beatrice. Danielle’s credits include Doctor Faustus (Duke of Yorks), Hatched ‘n’ Dispatched (The Park Theatre), and Noises Off (The Old Vic UK tour).

Perfect couple Claudio and Hero will be played by Peter Bray and Robyn Cara. Peter most recently played Paris at the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh in their production of The Iliad. His other theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet (Shakespeare’s Glove and UK, European and American tour), and Emil & The Detectives (National Theatre). Robyn Cara will make her professional debut in the role of Hero since graduating from the Birmingham School of Acting. Emmy Stonelake will also make her professional debut playing the roles of Friar Francis and Conrade.

UK Theatre Award winner for her role as Beverley in Abigail’s Party, Polly Lister will play the villainous Don John – traditionally a male role. Polly has an extensive list of theatre credits to her name, including Dancing at Lughnasa (Theatre by The Lake), Marilyn (Greenwich Theatre), and As You Like It (New Vic Theatre).

Also cast are: Paul Ridley (Macbeth, Danton’s Death, Billy Elliot (film), The Rivals); Karl Haynes (War Horse, Of Mice And Men, Passion); Kirsty J Curtis (The Halcyon, Urban Hymn); Robert Fitch (Journey’s End, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Anne Boleyn); and Chris Charles (Clybourne Park, Rising Damp, Julius Caesar).

Much Ado About Nothing will be directed by Pia Furtado, director of the award-winning Dirty Great Love Story.

Pia said:

“This production celebrates all the questions surrounding gender politics and role-play within Essex now. Set in a garrison town – a Messina inspired by Colchester – the play starts with soldiers returning home from their most recent military action. The backdrop of the army also allows us to take more of a look at army culture, expectations and the impact on the gender politics of the play. It will be riotous fun!”

Much Ado About Nothing will be at the Mercury Theatre Colchester from Friday 30 September to Saturday 15 October and is recommended for ages 13+. Tickets are £12 – £27.


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