Festival Players - Much Ado About Nothing

Festival PlayersThursday 22 August 2019

6.30pm at Woodchester Mansion

"The course of true love never did run smooth”, but the sparring antics of Shakespeare’s erstwhile lovers, Beatrice and Benedick, provide great hilarity for the other members of the household who plot to reunite them. Against this background, another romance is almost derailed by the machinations of a jealous Duke until the local constabulary bumble upon his plans. A delicious and beguiling comedy, enhanced by original songs composed by Johnny Coppin.

Festival Players’ Artistic Director Michael Dyer has brought the play to a manageable length of 2 hours in the company’s trademark accessible format. Says Dyer: “Our shows are an amalgam of energy, entertainment and colour and we aim to make them clear and transparent, as well as keeping them short for the comfort of our patrons, many of whom will see a performance in the open air. We set out to take audiences of all ages on a journey and make them feel very much part of the production.”

Much AdoA  cast of six play multiple roles demanding quick costume changes, as well as performing as singers and musicians. This gives an exciting opportunity for the actors to show their energy and versatility. It will be directed by Worcestershire based Dyer, former director of Cornwall’s Minack Open Air Theatre. This will be Dyer’s 15th all-male production in a row for the Players. “It is of course totally authentic - we are following in the footsteps of Shakespeare’s own Globe Theatre when all roles were taken by men. The Players has built a reputation for strong, all-male shows over the past twelve years.”

Much Ado - 2Stratford-based actor Mark Spriggs is returning to the company this summer to play Leonato and Dogberry, as will Tom Everatt who will portray Claudio, Verges, and Ursula. They will be joined by newcomers Patrick McHugh, Jeremy Small, Aaron Kehoe, and Ben Bruckshaw.

Music has been specially written for Much Ado About Nothing by folk star Johnny Coppin (front man of the cult Seventies folk-rock group Decameron). Gloucestershire-based Coppin, who regularly tours the folk and acoustic circuit, adds a special ingredient with his original songs and instrumentals involving all the cast.

Tickets £15.00

Tickets may be booked in advance from the Festival Players booking office:


Tickets will be available at the Mansion on the night of the performance.

The gates will be open from 5.30pm for picnics. Please bring your own chairs, rugs and cushions.

The performance lasts for about 2 hours and there will be an interval of about 20 minutes.

Please note: This is an outdoor performance and will take place outside whatever the weather. Please come appropriately prepared for the weather.


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