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Understanding how deception is used in the play. All students will understand the cause and effect of the deceptions within the play, most students will form ideas on staging the deceptions; some students will consider the idea of suspended disbelief and self deception.
- EN1: 1b, 3c, 3e, 4b, 4c, 4d
- Much Ado About Nothing: Deception worksheet
- Copies of Much Ado About Nothing
- Masks/makeshift props
- Reduced Shakespeare Company video: section on Hamlet (optional)
Ask the students to explain and interpret the title of the play. It is worth mentioning that 'nothing' holds other meanings; noting and female genitals.
- Feedback on introductory activity.
- As a class think about how many plots were carried out in the play, a secondary strand here worth noting is who was and was not deceived by masks at the ball. Note answers on board.
- In groups of 4/5 fill in the worksheet.
- Show video at this point and/or explore how in staging a mini version of the play the plots and their nature will become concentrated and the humour of the intrigue will become prevalent.
- In the same groups allow the students to prepare their own mini versions of the play following the guidelines below:
- As much original language as possible must be used; it would be helpful to choose the lines and write them down rather than using complete texts.
- Students will need to double up in roles.
- Their final version must not be longer than 3 minutes.
- Show all the mini-plays
- Feedback on what was clear, unclear, funny/sad/sinister, which plots are believable, most effective choice of lines from the play etc.
Choose a prop or make a mask so that characters can be identified in the final drama, learn lines etc.