Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre has never toured as far north as Alnwick, but that will change as Much Ado About Nothing is performed later this month.
The Bard’s classic comedy is one of the highlights of the Playhouse’s spring programme with the two shows taking place on Wednesday and Thursday, April 16 and 17.
Alnwick is the second stop on its tour, which starts next week, before it heads for two runs at The Globe itself in London and then resumes its tour across the country and beyond through the summer.
The play from the middle of Shakespeare’s career, which is considered to be one of his stronger comedies, is touring on a small-scale, Elizabethan-style stage.
It features plenty of comic moments, but is also interspersed with more serious moments focusing on genuine concerns.
It tells the tale of two pairs of lovers: Claudio loves Hero and Hero Claudio and nothing seems capable of keeping them apart.
Meanwhile, Claudio’s friend Benedick loves Beatrice and Beatrice Benedick, but (because neither will admit it) nothing seems capable of bringing them together.
Only the intrigues of a resentful prince force Benedick to prove his love for Beatrice – by killing his best friend.
Driven along by a romance all the more charming for being in denial, Much Ado About Nothing is a miracle of comic and dramatic suspense.
It also gives the audience, in the bantering Beatrice and Benedick, two of Shakespeare’s wittiest, most endearing pair of lovers, now thought of as the ‘lead’ couple of the play.
The relatively small cast, which sees a number of actors doubling up, features Simon Bubb as Benedick, Emma Pallant as Beatrice (and Verges), Gemma Lawrence as Hero (plus Conrade), Sam Phillips as Claudio as well as Jim Kitson as Don Pedro.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on Tour: Much Ado About Nothing is being staged on Wednesday and Thursday, April 16 and 17, at 7.30pm.
Tickets, which cost £20.50, £21.50 premier or £19.50 concessions, are available from the Playhouse box office, on 01665 510785 or online.