Post-war setting for Much Ado About Nothing

NORTHERN Broadsides brings an inventive and warm-hearted production of Much Ado About Nothing to Salisbury Playhouse from 19th to 23rd March.

This co-production for Northern Broadsides and the award-winning New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme is set at the end of the Second World War, and is directed by Northern Broadsides’ new artistic director and joint chief executive Conrad Nelson.

Six long years of war are finally over. Returning soldiers swap the European battlefields for a landscape of love, masked balls and much-needed laughter. Two young dreamers (Hero and Claudio) fall head over heels, while two others (Benedick and Beatrice) resume their combative courtship.

As faithful friends plot romance and a vengeful brother plans destruction, can true love conquer all, or will whispers and rumour win out?
sure to capture your hearts this Spring!

Director Conrad Nelson recalls that 23 years ago, he was offered a job with Kenneth Branagh’s Renaissance Theatre Company: “At the end of run I was thrilled to be asked to play Hugh Oatcake in his joyous film version of Much Ado. You won’t find the part high on the list of dramatis personae, in fact you may not find it all, but I was there on location for eight weeks in the glorious Tuscan sunshine. It was the place to fall in love and a perfect setting for Shakespeare’s romantic comedy.

“In 2000 I played Benedick opposite my future wife, Deborah McAndrew for Northern Broadsides – the last time the company performed the play. The hills of Tuscany gave way to the mill rooms and settings of the industrial North, but I still fell in love again.”

The cast includes Richard J Fletcher as Don John,  Sarah Kameela Impey as Hero, Linford Johnson as Claudio, Isobel Middleton as Beatrice, David Nellist
as Dogberry, Robin Simpson as Benedick, and Simeon Truby as Leonato;.

Photograph by Nobby Clark.