Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing

Overview

Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy
Shakespearean comedy
In the First Folio, the plays of William Shakespeare were grouped into three categories: comedies, histories, and tragedies."Comedy", in its Elizabethan usage, had a very different meaning from modern comedy...

 written by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 about two pairs of lovers, Benedick and Beatrice, and Claudio and Hero.

Benedick and Beatrice are engaged in a "merry war"; they both talk a mile a minute and proclaim their scorn for love, marriage, and each other. In contrast, Claudio and Hero are sweet young people who are rendered practically speechless by their love for one another.
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Quotations

A victory is twice itself when the achiever brings home full numbers.

Leonato, scene i

He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age, doing, in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion: he hath indeed better bettered expectation, than you must expect of me to tell you how.

Messenger, scene i

How much better is it to weep at joy than to joy at weeping!

Leonato, scene i

A very valiant trencher-man.

Beatrice, scene i

They never meet, but there is a skirmish of wit between them.

Leonato, scene i

In our last conflict four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the whole man governed with one: so that if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference between himself and his horse; for it is all the wealth that he hath left, to be known a reasonable creature.

Beatrice, scene i

He wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat; it ever changes with the next block.

Beatrice, scene i

Messenger: I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books.Beatrice: No; an he were, I would burn my study.

Scene i

He is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio! if he have caught the Benedick, it will cost him a thousand pound ere he be cured.

Beatrice, scene i
Encyclopedia

Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy
Shakespearean comedy
In the First Folio, the plays of William Shakespeare were grouped into three categories: comedies, histories, and tragedies."Comedy", in its Elizabethan usage, had a very different meaning from modern comedy...

 written by William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 about two pairs of lovers, Benedick and Beatrice, and Claudio and Hero.

Benedick and Beatrice are engaged in a "merry war"; they both talk a mile a minute and proclaim their scorn for love, marriage, and each other. In contrast, Claudio and Hero are sweet young people who are rendered practically speechless by their love for one another. By means of "noting" (which sounds the same as "nothing," and which is gossip, rumour, and overhearing), Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, and Claudio is tricked into rejecting Hero at the altar. However, Dogberry, a Constable who is a master of malapropism
Malapropism
A malapropism is an act of misusing or the habitual misuse of similar sounding words, especially with humorous results. An example is Yogi Berra's statement: "Texas has a lot of electrical votes," rather than "electoral votes".-Etymology:...

s, discovers the evil trickery of the villain, Don John. In the end, Don John is captured and everyone else joins in a dance celebrating the marriages of the two couples.

Date and text


The earliest printed text states that Much Ado About Nothing was "sundry times publicly acted" prior to 1600 and it is likely that the play made its debut in the autumn or winter of 1598–1599. The earliest recorded performances are two that were given at Court in the winter of 1612–13, during the festivities preceding the marriage of Princess Elizabeth
Elizabeth of Bohemia
Elizabeth of Bohemia was the eldest daughter of King James VI and I, King of Scotland, England, Ireland, and Anne of Denmark. As the wife of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, she was Electress Palatine and briefly Queen of Bohemia...

 with Frederick V, Elector Palatine
Frederick V, Elector Palatine
Frederick V was Elector Palatine , and, as Frederick I , King of Bohemia ....

 (14 February 1613). The play was published in quarto
Book size
The size of a book is generally measured by the height against the width of a leaf, or sometimes the height and width of its cover. A series of terms is commonly used by libraries and publishers for the general sizes of modern books, ranging from "folio" , to "quarto" and "octavo"...

 in 1600 by the stationers Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise , or Wyse or Wythes, was a London publisher of the Elizabethan era who issued first editions of five Shakespearean plays...

 and William Aspley
William Aspley
William Aspley was a London publisher of the Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Caroline eras. He was a member of the publishing syndicates that issued the First Folio and Second Folio collections of Shakespeare's plays, in 1623 and 1632.-Career:...

. This was the only edition prior to the First Folio
First Folio
Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. is the 1623 published collection of William Shakespeare's plays. Modern scholars commonly refer to it as the First Folio....

 in 1623.

Style


The play is one of the few in the Shakespeare canon where the majority of the text is written in prose. The substantial verse sections, nevertheless, are used both to achieve courteous decorum, on the one hand, and impulsive energies, on the other.

Sources


Stories of lovers deceived into believing each other false were common currency in northern Italy in the sixteenth century. Shakespeare's immediate source could have been one of the Novelle ("Tales") by Matteo Bandello
Matteo Bandello
-Biography:Matteo Bandello was born at Castelnuovo Scrivia, near Tortona , c. 1480 or 1485. He received a good education, and entered the church, but does not seem to have been very interested in theology. For many years he lived at Mantua, and superintended the education of the celebrated Lucrezia...

 of Mantua
Mantua
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy and capital of the province of the same name. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family, made it one of the main artistic, cultural and notably musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole...

, dealing with the tribulations of Sir Timbreo and his betrothed Fenice in Messina after King Piero's
Peter III of Aragon
Peter the Great was the King of Aragon of Valencia , and Count of Barcelona from 1276 to his death. He conquered Sicily and became its king in 1282. He was one of the greatest of medieval Aragonese monarchs.-Youth and succession:Peter was the eldest son of James I of Aragon and his second wife...

 defeat of Charles of Anjou, perhaps through the translation into French by François de Belleforest
François de Belleforest
François de Belleforest was a prolific French author, poet and translator of the Renaissance. He was born in a poor family and his father was killed when he was seven...

. Another version featuring lovers Ariodante and Ginevra, with the servant Dalinda impersonating Ginevra on the balcony, appears in Book V of Orlando Furioso
Orlando Furioso
Orlando Furioso is an Italian epic poem by Ludovico Ariosto which has exerted a wide influence on later culture. The earliest version appeared in 1516, although the poem was not published in its complete form until 1532...

by Ludovico Ariosto
Ludovico Ariosto
Ludovico Ariosto was an Italian poet. He is best known as the author of the romance epic Orlando Furioso . The poem, a continuation of Matteo Maria Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato, describes the adventures of Charlemagne, Orlando, and the Franks as they battle against the Saracens with diversions...

, published in an English translation in 1591. The character of Benedick too has a counterpart in a commentary upon marriage in Orlando Furioso, but the witty wooing of Beatrice and Benedick is original.

Setting


Much Ado About Nothing is set in Messina, a port on the island of Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, which is next to the toe of Italy. Sicily was ruled by Aragon at the time the play was set. The action of the play takes place mainly at the home and on the grounds of Leonato's Estate.

Characters



  • Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon
    Aragon
    Aragon is a modern autonomous community in Spain, coextensive with the medieval Kingdom of Aragon. Located in northeastern Spain, the Aragonese autonomous community comprises three provinces : Huesca, Zaragoza, and Teruel. Its capital is Zaragoza...

    : A kind, good Prince who helps Claudio win Hero. It was very common for the superiors of that time to find suitable wives for their men. He later helps Claudio disgrace Hero when he believes that she is unfaithful and he also tricks Benedick and Beatrice to fall in love.
  • Benedick, of Padua
    Padua
    Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

    ; companion of Don Pedro
    : A sarcastic, witty bachelor who swears he will never marry, he later falls in love with Beatrice when he is tricked into believing that she loves him. He is said to be very good in battle and there is hinting at a past relationship with Beatrice, though they do nothing but fight when the story opens.
  • Claudio, of Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

    ; a count, companion of Don Pedro
  • Balthasar, attendant on Don Pedro, a singer: Though Don Pedro praises his singing, Benedick calls him a "cat who sounds as if someone is killing it."
  • Don John, "the Bastard Prince," brother of Don Pedro and the main villain: He is surly and bitter, stirring up trouble with Claudio, Hero, and everyone he can. He is captured by the end of the play.
  • Borachio and Conrade, followers of Don John: They are the ones who actually initiate the plot to frame Hero as an adulteress. Borachio, who is in a relationship with Margaret, gets her into Hero's clothes and then kisses her on the balcony window, in full sight of Don John, Don Pedro, and Claudio.
  • Leonato, governor of Messina: He is ready to kill Hero himself when he believes she has dishonored him, but when he starts to believe her innocence, is ready to turn and kill Claudio instead.
  • Hero, Leonato's daughter: Beautiful, sweet, gentle, and demure, she is wrongfully accused of unfaithfulness and publicly humiliated on her wedding day. Wounded by Claudio's anger and her love for him, she swoons, and later pretends to be dead to bring remorse to her beloved. She marries Claudio in the end.

  • Beatrice, niece of Leonato, orphan: Hero's witty, older cousin, she attacks Benedick verbally, though she mentions once that "I wish he would have boarded me," insinuating that they had a past relationship. She swears never to marry, but after being tricked into believing that Benedick loves her, falls in love with him. She asks him to avenge Hero's dishonor and he reluctantly agrees to challenge Claudio to a duel.
  • Antonio, an old man, brother of Leonato: Offers to fight Claudio after Hero is pronounced "dead."
  • Margaret, waiting-gentlewoman attendant on Hero: Borachio's lover, she is tricked into wearing Hero's clothes and unwittingly taken for her mistress.
  • Ursula, waiting-gentlewoman attendant on Hero
  • Friar Francis, a priest: The priest who believes in Hero's innocence and proposes the plot to pretend that she is dead.
  • Dogberry
    Dogberry
    Dogberry is a self-satisfied night constable in Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing.In the play, Dogberry is the chief of the citizen-police in Messina. As is usual in Shakespearean comedy, and Renaissance comedy generally, he is a figure of comic incompetence...

    , the constable in charge of Messina's night watch: An idiot with a too-large sense of self-importance, he continuously botches everything he tries to do but is indirectly responsible for Hero's public redemption from disgrace.
  • Verges, the Headborough, Dogberry’s partner
  • A Sexton, the judge of the trial of Borachio
  • The Watch, watchmen of Messina
  • A Boy, serving Benedick
  • Attendants and messengers
  • Innogen, a ghost character
    Ghost character
    In playwriting, a ghost character is a character who is mentioned as appearing on stage but neither says nor does anything but enter, and possibly exit. They are generally interpreted as editing mistakes, indicative of unresolved revisions to the text...

     included in early editions as Leonato's wife


Synopsis


At Messina, a messenger brings news that Don Pedro, a Spanish prince from Aragon, and his officers, Claudio and Benedick, have returned from a successful battle. Leonato, the governor of Messina, welcomes the messenger and announces that Don Pedro and his men will stay for a month. Beatrice, Leonato's niece, asks the messenger about Benedick, and makes sarcastic remarks about his ineptitude as a soldier. Leonato explains that "There is a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her."

Beatrice and Benedick, longtime adversaries, carry on their arguments. Claudio’s feelings for Hero, Leonato's only daughter, are rekindled upon seeing her, and Claudio soon announces to Benedick his intention to court her. Benedick tries to dissuade his friend but is unsuccessful in the face of Don Pedro’s encouragement. While Benedick teases Claudio, Benedick swears that he will never get married. Don Pedro laughs at him and tells him that when he has found the right person he shall get married.

A masquerade ball is planned in celebration, giving a disguised Don Pedro the opportunity to woo
Courtship
Courtship is the period in a couple's relationship which precedes their engagement and marriage, or establishment of an agreed relationship of a more enduring kind. In courtship, a couple get to know each other and decide if there will be an engagement or other such agreement...

 Hero on Claudio’s behalf. Don John uses this situation to get revenge on his brother Don Pedro by telling young Claudio that Don Pedro is wooing Hero for himself. Claudio becomes furious at Don Pedro and confronts him. The misunderstanding is quickly resolved and Claudio wins Hero's hand in marriage.

Don Pedro and his men, bored at the prospect of waiting a week for the wedding, harbour a plan to matchmake between Beatrice and Benedick. The men led by Don Pedro proclaim Beatrice’s love for Benedick while knowing he is eavesdropping on their conversation. The women led by Hero do the same to Beatrice. Struck by the fact that they are apparently thought to be too proud to love each other, Beatrice and Benedick, neither willing to bear the reputation of pride, each decides to requite the love of the other.

Meanwhile Don John, 'The Bastard' (Don Pedro's illegitimate brother), is a malcontent who plots to ruin Claudio and Hero’s wedding by casting aspersions upon Hero’s character. His follower Borachio courts Margaret, Hero's chambermaid calling her "Hero", at Hero’s open bedroom window while Don John leads Don Pedro and Claudio to spy below. The latter mistaking Margaret for Hero are convinced of Hero's infidelity
Infidelity
In many intimate relationships in many cultures there is usually an express or implied expectation of exclusivity, especially in sexual matters. Infidelity most commonly refers to a breach of the expectation of sexual exclusivity.Infidelity can occur in relation to physical intimacy and/or...

.

The next day during the wedding, Claudio refuses to marry Hero. He and Don Pedro humiliate Hero publicly before a stunned congregation and Margaret, who is attending the wedding, does not speak up in Hero's defence. The two leave, leaving the rest in shock. Hero, who has fainted, revives after Don Pedro and Claudio leave, only to be reprimanded by her father. The presiding Friar interrupts, believing Hero to be innocent and convinces the family to fake Hero's death in order to extract the truth and Claudio’s remorse. Prompted by the day's harrowing events, Benedick and Beatrice confess their love for each other. Beatrice then asks Benedick to slay Claudio as proof of her devotion, since he has slandered her kinswoman. Benedick is horrified and denies her request. Later, however, he breaks with Claudio and challenges him for insulting Hero.

Leonato and Antonio, Hero's uncle, subsequently blame Don Pedro and Claudio for Hero’s death and challenge Claudio to duels. Benedick, prompted by Beatrice, does the same.

Luckily, on the night of Don John's treachery the local Watch has apprehended Borachio and his ally Conrade. Despite the Watch's comic ineptness (headed by constable Dogberry, a master of malapropism
Malapropism
A malapropism is an act of misusing or the habitual misuse of similar sounding words, especially with humorous results. An example is Yogi Berra's statement: "Texas has a lot of electrical votes," rather than "electoral votes".-Etymology:...

s), they have overheard the duo discussing their evil plans. The Watch arrest them and eventually obtain the villains' confession, informing Leonato of Hero's innocence. Though Don John has fled the city a force is sent to capture him. Claudio, though maintaining he made an honest mistake, is repentant; he agrees to not only post a proper epitaph for Hero but to marry a substitute, Hero's cousin (not Beatrice) in her place.

During Claudio’s second wedding as the dancers enter, the "cousin" is unmasked as Hero to a most surprised and gratified Claudio. An impromptu dance is announced. Beatrice and Benedick, prompted by their friends’ interference finally confess their love for each other to the group at large. As the play draws to a close a messenger arrives with news of Don John’s capture – but his punishment is postponed another day so that the couples can enjoy their new-found happiness.

Opposite sex


Benedick and Beatrice quickly became the main interest of the play; Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

 even wrote 'Benedick and Beatrice' beside the title of the play in his copy of the Second Folio
Second Folio
Second Folio is the term applied to the 1632 edition of the works of William Shakespeare, following upon the First Folio of 1623.Much language was updated; there are almost 1,700 changes from the First Folio....

. The provocative treatment of gender is central to the play and should be considered in its Renaissance context. While this was reflected and emphasised in certain plays of the period, it was also challenged. Amussen notes that the destabilising of traditional gender clichés appears to have inflamed anxieties about the erosion of social order. It seems that comic drama could be a means of calming such anxieties. Ironically, we can see through the play's popularity that this only increased people's interest in such behaviour. Benedick wittily gives voice to male anxieties about women's "sharp tongues and proneness to sexual lightness". In the patriarchal society of the play, the men's loyalties were governed by conventional codes of honour and camaraderie and a sense of superiority to women. Assumptions that women are by nature prone to inconstancy are shown in the repeated jokes on cuckold
Cuckold
Cuckold is a historically derogatory term for a man who has an unfaithful wife. The word, which has been in recorded use since the 13th century, derives from the cuckoo bird, some varieties of which lay their eggs in other birds' nests...

ry and partly explain Claudio's readiness to believe the slur against Hero. This stereotype is turned on its head in Balthasar's song, which shows men to be the deceitful and inconstant sex that women must suffer.

Infidelity


A theme
Theme (literature)
A theme is a broad, message, or moral of a story. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly. Along with plot, character,...

 in Shakespeare is cuckoldry or the infidelity of a wife. Several of the characters seem to be obsessed by the idea that a man has no way to know if his wife is faithful and therefore women can take full advantage of that fact. Don John plays upon Claudio’s pride and fear of cuckoldry, which leads to the disastrous first wedding scene. Because of their mistrust of female sexuality, many of the males easily believe that Hero is impure and even her father readily condemns her with very little proof. This motif
Motif (narrative)
In narrative, a motif is any recurring element that has symbolic significance in a story. Through its repetition, a motif can help produce other narrative aspects such as theme or mood....

 runs through the play, often in references to horns, a symbol of cuckoldry.

Deception


In Much Ado About Nothing, there are many examples of deception and self-deception. The games and tricks played on people often have the best intentions—to make people fall in love, to help someone get what they want, or to make someone realise their mistake. However, not all are meant well, such as when Don John convinces Claudio that Don Pedro wants Hero for himself, or when Borachio meets 'Hero' (who is actually Margaret, pretending to be Hero) in Hero's bedroom window.

Mistaken identity/Masks


People are constantly pretending to be others or being mistaken for other people. The most famous example is Margaret who is mistaken for Hero, which leads to Hero's public disgrace. However, during a festival in which everyone is masked, Beatrice rants about Benedick to a masked man who turns out to be Benedick himself. During the same celebration, Don Pedro, masked, pretends to be Claudio and courts Hero for him. After Hero is announced "dead," Leonato orders Claudio to marry his "niece," who is actually Hero in disguise.

Noting


Another motif is the play on the words nothing and noting, which in Shakespeare’s day were homophone
Homophone
A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose and rose , or differently, such as carat, caret, and carrot, or to, two, and too. Homophones that are spelled the same are also both homographs and homonyms...

s. Taken literally, the title implies that a great fuss ("much ado") is made of something which is insignificant ("nothing"), such as the unfounded claims of Hero’s infidelity. The title could also be understood as Much Ado About Noting. Much of the action is in interest in and critique of others, written messages, spying
Espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

, and eavesdropping
Eavesdropping
Eavesdropping is the act of secretly listening to the private conversation of others without their consent, as defined by Black's Law Dictionary...

. This is mentioned several times, particularly concerning "seeming", "fashion", and outward impressions. Nothing is a double entendre
Double entendre
A double entendre or adianoeta is a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first meaning is straightforward, while the second meaning is less so: often risqué or ironic....

, "an O-thing" (or "n othing" or "no thing") was Elizabethan slang for "vagina
Vagina
The vagina is a fibromuscular tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of the body in female placental mammals and marsupials, or to the cloaca in female birds, monotremes, and some reptiles. Female insects and other invertebrates also have a vagina, which is the terminal part of the...

", evidently derived from the pun of a woman having "nothing" between her legs.

Examples of noting as noticing occur in the following instances: (1.1.131–132)

and (4.1.154–157).
At (3.3.102–104), Borachio indicates that a man’s clothing doesn’t indicate his character:
A triple play on words in which noting signifies noticing, musical notes and nothing occurs at (2.3.47–52):
Don Pedro’s last line can be understood to mean, "Pay attention to your music and nothing else!" The complex layers of meaning include a pun on "crotchets," which can mean both "quarter note
Quarter note
A quarter note or crotchet is a note played for one quarter of the duration of a whole note . Often people will say that a crotchet is one beat, however, this is not always correct, as the beat is indicated by the time signature of the music; a quarter note may or may not be the beat...

s" (in music) and whimsical notions.

The following are pun
Pun
The pun, also called paronomasia, is a form of word play which suggests two or more meanings, by exploiting multiple meanings of words, or of similar-sounding words, for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect. These ambiguities can arise from the intentional use and abuse of homophonic,...

s on notes as messages: (2.1.174–176),

in which Benedick plays on the word post as a pole and as mail delivery in a joke reminiscent of Shakespeare’s earlier advice "Don’t shoot the messenger
Shooting the messenger
"Shooting the messenger" is a metaphoric phrase used to describe the act of lashing out at the bearer of bad news.In earlier times, messages were usually delivered in person by a human envoy. Sometimes, as in war, for example, the messenger was sent from the enemy camp...

"; and (2.3.138–142)
in which Leonato makes a sexual
Human sexuality
Human sexuality is the awareness of gender differences, and the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. Human sexuality can also be described as the way someone is sexually attracted to another person whether it is to opposite sexes , to the same sex , to either sexes , or not being...

 innuendo
Innuendo
An innuendo is a baseless invention of thoughts or ideas. It can also be a remark or question, typically disparaging , that works obliquely by allusion...

 concerning sheet as a sheet of paper (on which Beatrice’s love note to Benedick is to have been written) and a bedsheet.

Performance history


The play was very popular in its early decades, as it would be later: in a poem published in 1640, Leonard Digges
Leonard Digges (writer)
Leonard Digges was an accomplished Hispanist and minor poet, a younger son of the astronomer Thomas Digges Leonard Digges (1588 – 7 April 1635) was an accomplished Hispanist and minor poet, a younger son of the astronomer Thomas Digges Leonard Digges (1588 – 7 April 1635) was an...

 wrote "...let but Beatrice / And Benedick be seen, lo in a trice / The Cockpit
Cockpit Theatre
The Cockpit was a theatre in London, operating from 1616 to around 1665. It was the first theatre to be located near Drury Lane. After damage in 1617, it was christened The Phoenix....

 galleries, boxes, all are full."

After the theatres re-opened during the Restoration, Sir William Davenant
William Davenant
Sir William Davenant , also spelled D'Avenant, was an English poet and playwright. Along with Thomas Killigrew, Davenant was one of the rare figures in English Renaissance theatre whose career spanned both the Caroline and Restoration eras and who was active both before and after the English Civil...

 staged The Law Against Lovers (1662), which inserted Beatrice and Benedick into an adaptation of Measure for Measure
Measure for Measure
Measure for Measure is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1603 or 1604. It was classified as comedy, but its mood defies those expectations. As a result and for a variety of reasons, some critics have labelled it as one of Shakespeare's problem plays...

. Another adaptation, The Universal Passion, combined Much Ado with a play by Molière
Molière
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière, was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature...

 (1737). Shakespeare's text had been revived by John Rich
John Rich (producer)
John Rich was an important director and theatre manager in 18th century London. He opened the New Theatre at Lincoln's Inn Fields and then the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden and began putting on ever more lavish productions...

 at Lincoln's Inn Fields
Lincoln's Inn Fields
Lincoln's Inn Fields is the largest public square in London, UK. It was laid out in the 1630s under the initiative of the speculative builder and contractor William Newton, "the first in a long series of entrepreneurs who took a hand in developing London", as Sir Nikolaus Pevsner observes...

 (1721). David Garrick
David Garrick
David Garrick was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century and was a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson...

 first played Benedick in 1748 and continued to play him until 1776.

The great nineteenth century stage team Henry Irving
Henry Irving
Sir Henry Irving , born John Henry Brodribb, was an English stage actor in the Victorian era, known as an actor-manager because he took complete responsibility for season after season at the Lyceum Theatre, establishing himself and his company as...

 and Ellen Terry
Ellen Terry
Dame Ellen Terry, GBE was an English stage actress who became the leading Shakespearean actress in Britain. Among the members of her famous family is her great nephew, John Gielgud....

 counted Benedick and Beatrice as their greatest triumph and Charles Kemble
Charles Kemble
Charles Kemble was a British actor.-Life:The youngest son of Roger Kemble, and younger brother of John Philip Kemble, Stephen Kemble and Sarah Siddons, he was born at Brecon, South Wales. Like John Philip, he was educated at Douai...

 also had a great success as Benedick. John Gielgud
John Gielgud
Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor, director, and producer. A descendant of the renowned Terry acting family, he achieved early international acclaim for his youthful, emotionally expressive Hamlet which broke box office records on Broadway in 1937...

 made Benedick one of his signature roles between 1931 and 1959, playing the part opposite the Beatrice of Diana Wynyard
Diana Wynyard
Diana Wynyard, CBE , whose birth name was Dorothy Isobel Cox, was an English stage and film actress.-Life and career:...

, Peggy Ashcroft
Peggy Ashcroft
Dame Peggy Ashcroft, DBE was an English actress.-Early years:Born as Edith Margaret Emily Ashcroft in Croydon, Ashcroft attended the Woodford School, Croydon and the Central School of Speech and Drama...

 and Margaret Leighton. The longest running Broadway production is A. J. Antoon
A. J. Antoon
A. J. Antoon was an American theatre director. He attended the Yale School of Drama. Beginning in 1971, Antoon directed numerous plays at the New York Shakespeare Festival over a period of nearly 20 years. In 1973, Antoon became one of the few directors to have been nominated for two Tony Awards...

's 1972 staging starring Sam Waterston
Sam Waterston
Samuel Atkinson "Sam" Waterston is an American actor and occasional producer and director. Among other roles, he is noted for his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Sydney Schanberg in 1984's The Killing Fields, and his Golden Globe- and Screen Actors Guild Award-winning portrayal of Jack McCoy...

, Kathleen Widdoes
Kathleen Widdoes
-Life and career:Widdoes was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the daughter of Bernice and Eugene Widdoes. Widdoes moved to New York City to pursue stage work and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris under a Fulbright scholarship. From 1964 to 1972 she was married to well known actor Richard Jordan, with...

 and Barnard Hughes
Barnard Hughes
Bernard Aloysius Kiernan “Barnard” Hughes was an American actor of theater and film. Hughes became famous for a variety of roles; his most notable roles came after middle age, and he was often cast as a dithering authority figure or grandfatherly elder.-Personal life:Hughes was born in Bedford...

, and Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi
Sir Derek George Jacobi, CBE is an English actor and film director.A "forceful, commanding stage presence", Jacobi has enjoyed a highly successful stage career, appearing in such stage productions as Hamlet, Uncle Vanya, and Oedipus the King. He received a Tony Award for his performance in...

 won a Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

 for playing Benedick in 1984. Jacobi had also played Benedick in the Royal Shakespeare Company
Royal Shakespeare Company
The Royal Shakespeare Company is a major British theatre company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. The company employs 700 staff and produces around 20 productions a year from its home in Stratford-upon-Avon and plays regularly in London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and on tour across...

's highly-praised 1982 production. Director Terry Hands
Terry Hands
Terence David Hands is an English theatre director. He ran the Royal Shakespeare Company for 20 years during one of its most successful periods.-Early years:...

 produced the play on a stage-length mirror, against an unchanging backdrop of painted trees. Sinéad Cusack
Sinéad Cusack
Sinéad Moira Cusack is an Irish stage, television and film actress. She has received two Tony Award nominations: once for Best Leading Actress in Much Ado About Nothing , and again for Best Featured Actress in Rock 'n' Roll .-Background:...

 played Beatrice.

On stage

  • In the original production by the Lord Chamberlain's Men
    Lord Chamberlain's Men
    The Lord Chamberlain's Men was a playing company for whom Shakespeare worked for most of his career. Formed at the end of a period of flux in the theatrical world of London, it had become, by 1603, one of the two leading companies of the city and was subsequently patronised by James I.It was...

    , William Kempe
    William Kempe
    William Kempe , also spelt Kemp, was an English actor and dancer specializing in comic roles and best known for having been one of the original players in early dramas by William Shakespeare...

     played Dogberry and Richard Cowley
    Richard Cowley
    Richard Cowley was an actor in English Renaissance theatre, a colleague of William Shakespeare and Richard Burbage in the Lord Chamberlain's Men and the King's Men.Cowley was in the c...

     played Verges.
  • 1765 David Garrick
    David Garrick
    David Garrick was an English actor, playwright, theatre manager and producer who influenced nearly all aspects of theatrical practice throughout the 18th century and was a pupil and friend of Dr Samuel Johnson...

     played Benedick.
  • 1882 Henry Irving
    Henry Irving
    Sir Henry Irving , born John Henry Brodribb, was an English stage actor in the Victorian era, known as an actor-manager because he took complete responsibility for season after season at the Lyceum Theatre, establishing himself and his company as...

     and Ellen Terry
    Ellen Terry
    Dame Ellen Terry, GBE was an English stage actress who became the leading Shakespearean actress in Britain. Among the members of her famous family is her great nephew, John Gielgud....

     played Benedick and Beatrice.
  • 1930 John Gielgud
    John Gielgud
    Sir Arthur John Gielgud, OM, CH was an English actor, director, and producer. A descendant of the renowned Terry acting family, he achieved early international acclaim for his youthful, emotionally expressive Hamlet which broke box office records on Broadway in 1937...

     played Benedick for the first time at the Old Vic
    Old Vic
    The Old Vic is a theatre located just south-east of Waterloo Station in London on the corner of The Cut and Waterloo Road. Established in 1818 as the Royal Coburg Theatre, it was taken over by Emma Cons in 1880 when it was known formally as the Royal Victoria Hall. In 1898, a niece of Cons, Lilian...

     Theatre and it stayed in his repertory until 1959.
  • 1960 Tony Award Nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
    Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play
    This is a list of the winners and nominations of Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. The award has been presented since 1947, and is for performance in new productions or revivals.-1940s:...

    : Margaret Leighton
  • 1973 Tony Award Nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play: Barnard Hughes
    Barnard Hughes
    Bernard Aloysius Kiernan “Barnard” Hughes was an American actor of theater and film. Hughes became famous for a variety of roles; his most notable roles came after middle age, and he was often cast as a dithering authority figure or grandfatherly elder.-Personal life:Hughes was born in Bedford...

     as Dogberry in the New York Shakespeare Festival
    New York Shakespeare Festival
    New York Shakespeare Festival is the previous name of the New York City theatrical producing organization now known as the Public Theater. The Festival produced shows at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, as part of its free Shakespeare in the Park series, at the Public Theatre near Astor Place...

     production
  • 1973 Tony Award Nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play: Kathleen Widdoes
    Kathleen Widdoes
    -Life and career:Widdoes was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the daughter of Bernice and Eugene Widdoes. Widdoes moved to New York City to pursue stage work and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris under a Fulbright scholarship. From 1964 to 1972 she was married to well known actor Richard Jordan, with...

  • 1983 Evening Standard Award: Best Actor: Derek Jacobi
    Derek Jacobi
    Sir Derek George Jacobi, CBE is an English actor and film director.A "forceful, commanding stage presence", Jacobi has enjoyed a highly successful stage career, appearing in such stage productions as Hamlet, Uncle Vanya, and Oedipus the King. He received a Tony Award for his performance in...

  • 1985 Tony Award Nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play: Sinéad Cusack
    Sinéad Cusack
    Sinéad Moira Cusack is an Irish stage, television and film actress. She has received two Tony Award nominations: once for Best Leading Actress in Much Ado About Nothing , and again for Best Featured Actress in Rock 'n' Roll .-Background:...

  • 1985 Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
    Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
    The Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play presented since 1947, is awarded to actors in productions of new or revival plays.-1940s:*1947 - José Ferrer – Cyrano de Bergerac / Fredric March – Years Ago...

    : Derek Jacobi
    Derek Jacobi
    Sir Derek George Jacobi, CBE is an English actor and film director.A "forceful, commanding stage presence", Jacobi has enjoyed a highly successful stage career, appearing in such stage productions as Hamlet, Uncle Vanya, and Oedipus the King. He received a Tony Award for his performance in...

     as Benedick
  • 1989 Evening Standard Award: Best Actress: Felicity Kendal
    Felicity Kendal
    Felicity Ann Kendal, CBE is an English actor known for her television and stage work.Born in 1946, Kendal spent much of her childhood in India, where her father managed a touring repertory company. First appearing on stage at the age of nine months, Kendal appeared in her first film, Shakespeare...

     as Beatrice in Elijah Moshinsky's production at the Strand Theatre
    Novello Theatre
    The Novello Theatre is a West End theatre on Aldwych, in the City of Westminster.-History:The theatre was built as one of a pair with the Aldwych Theatre on either side of the Waldorf Hotel, both being designed by W. G. R. Sprague. The theatre opened as the Waldorf Theatre on 22 May 1905, and was...

  • 1994 Laurence Olivier Award
    Laurence Olivier Awards
    The Laurence Olivier Award is presented annually by the Society of London Theatre to recognise excellence in professional theatre. Named after the renowned British actor Laurence Olivier, they are given for West End shows and other productions staged in London...

    : Best Actor: Mark Rylance
    Mark Rylance
    Mark Rylance is an English actor, theatre director and playwright.As an actor, Rylance found success on stage and screen. For his work in theatre he has won Olivier and Tony Awards among others, and a BAFTA TV Award...

     as Benedick in Matthew Warchus
    Matthew Warchus
    -Life:Warchus studied music and drama at Bristol University. He has directed for the National Youth Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Donmar Warehouse, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal National Theatre, Opera North, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Welsh National Opera, English National Opera and in the West...

    ' production at the Queen's Theatre
    Queen's Theatre
    The Queen's Theatre is a West End theatre located in Shaftesbury Avenue in the City of Westminster. It opened on 8 October 1907 as a twin to the neighbouring Gielgud Theatre which opened ten months earlier. Both theatres were designed by W.G.R...

  • 2006 Laurence Olivier Award: Best Actress: Tamsin Greig
    Tamsin Greig
    Tamsin Greig is an English actress principally known for two Channel 4 television comedy parts: Fran Katzenjammer in Black Books and Dr. Caroline Todd in Green Wing...

     as Beatrice in the Royal Shakespeare Company
    Royal Shakespeare Company
    The Royal Shakespeare Company is a major British theatre company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. The company employs 700 staff and produces around 20 productions a year from its home in Stratford-upon-Avon and plays regularly in London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and on tour across...

    's production in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
    Royal Shakespeare Theatre
    The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is a 1,040+ seat thrust stage theatre owned by the Royal Shakespeare Company dedicated to the British playwright and poet William Shakespeare. It is located in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon - Shakespeare's birthplace - in the English Midlands, beside the River Avon...

    , directed by Marianne Elliott
  • 2007 Zoë Wanamaker
    Zoe Wanamaker
    Zoë Wanamaker, CBE is an American-British actress. She has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company; in films, including the Harry Potter series; and in a number of television productions, including a long-time role as Susan Harper in the sitcom My Family.-Early life and family:Wanamaker was...

     as Beatrice and Simon Russell Beale
    Simon Russell Beale
    Simon Russell Beale, CBE is an English actor. He has been described by The Independent as "the greatest stage actor of his generation."-Early years:...

     as Benedick in a National Theatre
    Royal National Theatre
    The Royal National Theatre in London is one of the United Kingdom's two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company...

     production directed by Nicholas Hytner
    Nicholas Hytner
    Sir Nicholas Robert Hytner is an English film and theatre producer and director. He has been the artistic director of London's National Theatre since 2003.-Biography:...

  • 2011 Eve Best
    Eve Best
    Eve Best is an English actress, best known for her roles as Dr. O'Hara in the Showtime television series Nurse Jackie, as Wallis Simpson in the 2010 film The King's Speech, and Dolley Madison in the 2011 American Experience television special about that First Lady.-Early life and education:Best...

     as Beatrice and Charles Edwards
    Charles Edwards (English actor)
    Charles Edwards is an English actor, the youngest of four brothers in his family He graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1992. His first professional theatre engagement was in Blithe Spirit at age 24...

     as Benedick at Shakespeare's Globe
    Shakespeare's Globe
    Shakespeare's Globe is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse in the London Borough of Southwark, located on the south bank of the River Thames, but destroyed by fire in 1613, rebuilt 1614 then demolished in 1644. The modern reconstruction is an academic best guess, based...

    , directed by Jeremy Herrin
    Jeremy Herrin
    Jeremy Herrin is an English theatre director and currently the Deputy Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre in London. He trained as a theatre director at both the Royal Court and the National Theatre...

    .
  • 2011 David Tennant
    David Tennant
    David Tennant is a Scottish actor. In addition to his work in theatre, including a widely praised Hamlet, Tennant is best known for his role as the tenth incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who, along with the title role in the 2005 TV serial Casanova and as Barty Crouch, Jr...

     as Benedick alongside Catherine Tate
    Catherine Tate
    Catherine Tate is an English actress, writer, and comedian. She has won numerous awards for her work on the sketch comedy series The Catherine Tate Show as well as being nominated for an International Emmy Award and four BAFTA Awards...

     as Beatrice in a production of the play at the Wyndham's Theatre
    Wyndham's Theatre
    Wyndham's Theatre is a West End theatre, one of two opened by the actor/manager Charles Wyndham . Located on Charing Cross Road, in the City of Westminster, it was designed by W.G.R. Sprague about 1898, the architect of six other London theatres between then and 1916...

    , directed by Josie Rourke
    Josie Rourke
    Josie Rourke is a British theatre director.She attended St Patricks RC High School in Eccles, Salford and her first notable work was as assistant director to Peter Gill in his premiere of The York Realist in 2002...


Television


There have been several screen adaptations of Much Ado About Nothing, and almost all of them have been made for television. In 2005 the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 adapted the story by setting it in the modern-day studios of Wessex Tonight, a fictional regional news programme, as part of the ShakespeaRe-Told
ShakespeaRe-Told
ShakespeaRe-Told is the umbrella title for a series of four television adaptations of William Shakespeare's plays broadcast on BBC One during November 2005. In a similar manner to the 2003 production of The Canterbury Tales, each play is adapted by a different writer, and relocated to the present day...

season, with Damian Lewis
Damian Lewis
Lewis was born in St John's Wood, London, the son of Charlotte Mary and J. Watcyn Lewis, a City broker. His paternal grandparents were Welsh. His maternal grandfather was Lord Mayor of London Ian Frank Bowater and his maternal grandmother's ancestors include Bertrand Dawson, 1st Viscount Dawson of...

, Sarah Parish
Sarah Parish
Sarah Parish is an English actress.Parish is known for her work on such TV series as: Peak Practice, Hearts and Bones, Cutting It, Doctor Who, Mistresses, Merlin and the new ITV medical drama Monroe....

, and Billie Piper
Billie Piper
Billie Paul Piper is an English singer and actress.She began her career in the late 1990s as a pop singer and then switched to acting. She started in acting and dancing and was talent spotted at the Sylvia Young stage school by Smash Hits magazine who wanted a "face" for their magazine...

.

Film


The first cinematic version in English may have been the 1913 silent film
Silent film
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards...

 directed by Phillips Smalley
Phillips Smalley
Wendell Phillips Smalley was a prolific American silent film director and actor.Born in Brooklyn, New York, Smalley began his career in vaudeville and acted in more than 200 films between 1910 until his death in 1939...

.

The first sound version in English released to cinemas was the highly acclaimed 1993 film by Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor and film director from Northern Ireland. He is best known for directing and starring in several film adaptations of William Shakespeare's plays including Henry V , Much Ado About Nothing , Hamlet Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor and film director from...

. It starred Branagh as Benedik, Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson is a British actress, comedian and screenwriter. Her first major film role was in the 1989 romantic comedy The Tall Guy. In 1992, Thompson won multiple acting awards, including an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Actress, for her performance in the British drama Howards End...

 as Beatrice, Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. is an American actor, screenwriter, director, and film producer. He first rose to prominence when he joined the cast of the medical drama, St. Elsewhere, playing Dr...

 as Don Pedro, Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves
Keanu Charles Reeves is a Canadian actor. Reeves is perhaps best known for his roles in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Speed, Point Break and the science fiction-action trilogy The Matrix...

 as Don John, Richard Briers
Richard Briers
Richard David Briers, CBE is an English actor whose career has encompassed theatre, television, film and radio.He first came to prominence as George Starling in Marriage Lines in the 1960s, but it was in the following decade when he played Tom Good in the BBC sitcom The Good Life that he became a...

 as Leonato, Michael Keaton
Michael Keaton
Michael John Douglas , better known by the stage name Michael Keaton, is an American actor known for his early comedic roles, most notably his performance as the title character of Tim Burton's Beetlejuice . Keaton is also famous for his dramatic portrayal of Bruce Wayne/Batman in Tim Burton's...

 as Dogberry, Robert Sean Leonard
Robert Sean Leonard
Robert Sean Leonard is an American actor, who has regularly starred in Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Since 2004 he has played the role of Dr. James Wilson on the TV series House...

 as Claudio, Imelda Staunton
Imelda Staunton
Imelda Mary Philomena Bernadette Staunton, OBE is an English actress. She is perhaps best known for her performances in the British comedy television series Up the Garden Path, the Harry Potter film series and Vera Drake...

 as Maragaret, and Kate Beckinsale
Kate Beckinsale
Kathryn Bailey "Kate" Beckinsale is an English actress. After some minor television roles, she made her film debut in Much Ado About Nothing while still a student at Oxford University...

 in her film debut as Hero.

The 2001 Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

 film Dil Chahta Hai
Dil Chahta Hai
Dil Chahta Hai is a 2001 Indian film starring Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshaye Khanna, Preity Zinta, Sonali Kulkarni, and Dimple Kapadia...

is a loose adaptation of the play.

In October 2011, Joss Whedon
Joss Whedon
Joseph Hill "Joss" Whedon is an American screenwriter, executive producer, director, comic book writer, occasional composer and actor, founder of Mutant Enemy Productions and co-creator of Bellwether Pictures...

 announced a film called Much Ado About Nothing
Much Ado About Nothing (2012 film)
Much Ado About Nothing is an independent film made by Joss Whedon and based on the Shakespeare play of the same name. The film is due to be released in 2012.-Production:...

.. The cast includes Amy Acker
Amy Acker
Amy Louise Acker is an American actress. She is best known for her roles on the television series Angel as Winifred Burkle and Illyria and on Alias as Kelly Peyton. She is also known for her role as Dr. Claire Saunders/Whiskey on Dollhouse.-Early life:Acker was born and raised in Dallas, where she...

 as Beatrice, Alexis Denisof
Alexis Denisof
Alexis Denisof is an American actor who is known for playing Wesley Wyndam-Pryce in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel.-Early life:...

 as Benedick, Nathan Fillion
Nathan Fillion
Nathan Fillion is a Canadian actor, currently starring as Richard Castle on the ABC series Castle. He is also known for his portrayal of the lead role of Captain Malcolm Reynolds in the television series Firefly and its feature film continuation, Serenity.He has acted in traditionally distributed...

 as Dogberry, Clark Gregg
Clark Gregg
Robert Clark Gregg is an American actor, screenwriter and director. He co-starred as Christine Campbell's ex-husband Richard in the CBS sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine, which debuted in March 2006 and concluded in May 2010...

 as Leonato, Reed Diamond
Reed Diamond
Reed Edward Diamond is an American actor. He is best known for the role of Det. Mike Kellerman on Homicide: Life on the Street and the role of recurring character Laurence Dominic on Dollhouse...

 as Don Pedro, Fran Kranz
Fran Kranz
Francis Elliott Kranz is an American actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Topher Brink in Joss Whedon's science fiction drama television series Dollhouse.-Early life:...

 as Claudio, Sean Maher
Sean Maher
Sean Maher is an American actor, best known for his role as Simon Tam in the science fiction television series Firefly and followup movie Serenity.-Early life:...

 as Don John, Spencer Treat Clark
Spencer Treat Clark
Spencer Treat Clark is an American actor who has appeared in several films, including Gladiator, Mystic River, and Unbreakable.-Life and career:...

 as Borachio, Riki Lindhome
Riki Lindhome
Riki Lindhome is an American actress and musician. She is best known for television roles in shows including Gilmore Girls, House, The Big Bang Theory and United States of Tara and is also one half of the musical comedy duo Garfunkel And Oates...

 as Conrade, Ashley Johnson
Ashley Johnson
Ashley Suzanne Johnson is an American actress, best known for her two-season role as Chrissy Seaver in the TV show Growing Pains, and for her voice work in television series such as Teen Titans and Ben 10 Alien Force....

 as Margaret, Tom Lenk
Tom Lenk
Thomas Loren "Tom" Lenk is an American stage and television actor best known for his recurring role as Andrew Wells in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel.-Early life:...

 as Verges, Romy Rosemont
Romy Rosemont
Romy Rosemont is a television actress who has appeared in multiple TV series, including Shark, Grey's Anatomy, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Prison Break and Private Practice. She got her break in 2010, playing Carole Hudson in the musical series Glee...

 as the Sexton, and an unknown, Jillian Morgese, as Hero.

Other


The operas Béatrice et Bénédict
Béatrice et Bénédict
Béatrice et Bénédict is an opera in two acts by Hector Berlioz. Berlioz wrote the French libretto himself, based closely on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing....

(1862) by Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts . Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works; as a...

 and Much Ado About Nothing
Much Ado About Nothing (opera)
Much Ado About Nothing is an opera in four acts by Charles Villiers Stanford with a libretto by Julian Sturgis based on Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing. It premiered to considerable success at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on 30 May 1901...

by Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
Charles Villiers Stanford
Sir Charles Villiers Stanford was an Irish composer who was particularly notable for his choral music. He was professor at the Royal College of Music and University of Cambridge.- Life :...

 (1901) are based upon this play.

Recently the Klingon Language Institute
Klingon Language Institute
The Klingon Language Institute is an independent organization located in Flourtown, Pennsylvania, USA. Its goal is to promote the Klingon language and culture.- General :About 2500 members in over 50 countries all over the world have joined the KLI...

 translated Much Ado About Nothing into Klingon
Klingon
Klingons are a fictional warrior race in the Star Trek universe.Klingons are recurring villains in the 1960s television show Star Trek: The Original Series, and have appeared in all five spin-off series and eight feature films...

, similar to The Klingon Hamlet
The Klingon Hamlet
The Klingon Hamlet was a project to translate William Shakespeare's Hamlet into Klingon, a constructed language first appearing in the television series Star Trek....

.

Another adaptation is the 1973 New York Shakespeare Festival production by Joseph Papp
Joseph Papp
Joseph Papp was an American theatrical producer and director. Papp established The Public Theater in what had been the Astor Library Building in downtown New York . "The Public," as it is known, has many small theatres within it...

, shot on videotape
Videotape
A videotape is a recording of images and sounds on to magnetic tape as opposed to film stock or random access digital media. Videotapes are also used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram...

 and released on VHS and DVD, that presents more of the text than Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor and film director from Northern Ireland. He is best known for directing and starring in several film adaptations of William Shakespeare's plays including Henry V , Much Ado About Nothing , Hamlet Kenneth Charles Branagh is an actor and film director from...

's version. The Papp production stars Sam Waterston
Sam Waterston
Samuel Atkinson "Sam" Waterston is an American actor and occasional producer and director. Among other roles, he is noted for his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Sydney Schanberg in 1984's The Killing Fields, and his Golden Globe- and Screen Actors Guild Award-winning portrayal of Jack McCoy...

, Kathleen Widdoes and Barnard Hughes.

In 2006 the American Music Theatre Project
American Music Theatre Project
The American Music Theatre Project was introduced in May 2005 by Northwestern University’s School of Communication, in collaboration with the School of Music, Kellogg School of Management, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School...

 produced The Boys Are Coming Home
The Boys Are Coming Home
The Boys Are Coming Home was the second new musical to emerge from AMTP at Northwestern University. Written in 2005 and based on Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing, this musical is set in the year 1945, when American servicemen returned home from World War II...

,
a musical adaptation by Berni Stapleton and Leslie Arden
Leslie Arden
Leslie Arden is a Canadian musical theatre composer, lyricist and librettist. She has been described as "arguably Canada's most talented Musical Theatre writer". She is best known for her work The House of Martin Guerre produced by Theatre Plus , the Goodman Theatre in Chicago and the Canadian...

 that sets Much Ado About Nothing in World War II America.

External links