Search

Lies, love and laughter: Much Ado About Nothing comes to Queen’s

14:46 08 March 2016

The cast of Much Ado About Nothing, a story of laughs, lies and love. Credit: Mark Sepple

The cast of Much Ado About Nothing, a story of laughs, lies and love. Credit: Mark Sepple

Mark Sepple

The Queen’s Theatre’s new Artistic Director Douglas Rintoul begins his tenure with a slick reimagining of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy.

Hattie Ladbury and Thomas Padden play quarrelsome lovers Beatrice and BenedickHattie Ladbury and Thomas Padden play quarrelsome lovers Beatrice and Benedick

There is something remarkably fresh about this production of Much Ado About Nothing, and that isn’t just referring to the setting of the show in post-Second World War England.

All but two of the play’s cast are making their Queen’s Theatre debuts(Eliza Hunt last performed there in 1981), and the energy they bring to the performance never falters for a moment.

Special praise must go to James Siggens, who is still in the final year of his training and is marking his professional debut by bringing an infectious charm to Claudio, the play’s young romantic lead, even when deliberately misled and at his least likeable.

But as any scholar of Shakespeare will tell you, in truth this play belongs to Beatrice and Benedick, the warring couple fooled into falling in love despite their constant protests they cannot abide one another.

Thomas Padden's Benedick transforms from sworn bachelor to married manThomas Padden's Benedick transforms from sworn bachelor to married man

If there is a single aspect of the production Rintoul had to get right, it was casting the two loudmouth lovers, and fortunately Thomas Padden and Hattie Ladbury absolutely nail the witty back and forth between the two.

There is something remarkably modern about watching their relationship play out, as frosty exchanges are reinterpreted in the wake of a few well-placed lies, and each convinces themselves they must love the other.

You get the feeling that if the play were set in 2016, they would be constantly trolling each other on twitter.

One of the biggest laughs of the night comes from Benedick’s woefully inaccurate interpretation of a simple summons to dinner from the woman he believes loves him even while he scorns her, while the physical comedy Padden and Ladbury bring to the scenes in which they eavesdrop on their friends and family dicussing their relationship brings the very best out of slapstick Shakespeare.

The second act by necessity has to lose some of its humour to service the plot, but all in all the punchlines and payoffs are expertly paced throughout to maintain the audience’s interest, and visually the staging is masterfully done.

One particular moment that remains long in the mind is the way a simple change of lighting and a crucifix lowered from the rafters turn a sunny Italian villa into a striking tableau of a murky chapel.

If Rintoul’s first production is anything to go by, the Queen’s Theatre is in very capable hands.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Entertainment Stories

Yesterday, 10:28
Natasha Lewis and James Noar playing Cinderella and the Prince in Queen's Theatre's pantomime. Picture: Mark Sepple

A panto is not my first choice of entertainment and I usually get a headache when watching one from constantly rolling my eyes.

Thursday, December 1, 2016
Gary Edwards presenting Dancing With The Stars All Access in America.

“At the end of the day it’s what the BBC wants,” said a top dancer who is in the running to become Strictly’s new judge when Len Goodman retires from the show.

Sunday, November 13, 2016
Baxter Willoughby

Budding young actor Baxter Willoughby is due to play a young Prince in a documentary next year.

Sunday, November 13, 2016
Coral Jeffery and her new book Up the Road, Down the Line in front of Rainham War Memorial

An amateur historian, who has spent her life helping to preserve her neighbourhood, looks back at the stories of the last century, which shaped her community.

Friday, November 4, 2016
The Jive Aces

A swing band is returning to the streets where they started busking more than 25 years ago as part of a campaign to warn people about the dangers of drugs.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Queen's Theatre Partners in Crime production shots

Intrigue, romance and plenty of 1920s glamour are just some of the highlights of the Queen’s Theatre’s latest offering.

Monday, October 24, 2016
File photo dated 31/12/15 of fireworks as a call to restrict the use of fireworks to certain times of the year is due to be debated in Parliament.

Fireworks will be lighting up Havering’s skies next week – and we’ve rounded up some of the best events on offer in the borough this Guy Fawkes Night.

Thursday, October 20, 2016
The girls on a saturday night out. Picture Mark Sepple.

Had enough of the Brexit debate, gorillas and 2016 in general?

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read entertainment

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now