Staging choices in Much Ado About Nothing

Josie Lawrence as Benedick in all-female performance of Much Ado About Nothing
Benedick, played by Josie Lawrence in an all-female cast of Much Ado About Nothing

In Shakespeare's time, plays were performed either in theatres with open roofs, such as The Rose or The Globe, or for private audiences such as wealthy families or royalty. Props and special effects were limited, so playwrights relied even more on language than today.

Women weren't allowed on stage, so the female roles were played by young boys. In a play like Much Ado About Nothing which is about love, this would provide plenty of opportunity for comedy!

When it comes to staging this play in modern theatres, we have more access to props and special effects that can create atmosphere. Remember, Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy so directors are looking for ways of making an audience laugh.

In this video, the director takes advantage of the actor's mistakes in rehearsals to add to the humour of the scene.