Much Ado About Nothing

Botanic Gardens, Albury

Fri, Sat March 13, 14, 20 & 21, 2015

Synopsis:

William Shakespeare probably wrote ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in the middle of his career in 1598 or 1599. It is one of Shakespeare’s most widely performed plays, and certainly one of his most popular. The themes of love, mistaken identity, sexual jealousy, honour, betrayal and friendship all play out against the background of the Sicilian countryside.

The play examines the character arcs of Benedick and Beatrice, as they move from apparently detesting one another and disdaining love, to finally admitting their feelings for one another with the help of their friends. Both are tricked into admitting their feelings by the end of the play. The play also deals with Hero and Claudio as they fall in love, only to be nearly thwarted by the villainous Don John.

We also meet the Watch, Messina’s police force, headed up by the self-important but comically idiotic Dogberry. He is assisted by Verges, and they head up a fine (well, sort of …) body of constables who save the day, in spite of themselves.

This production is being judged for the Georgy Awards (to be presented in November 2015) and the ZONTA/ZAPA awards (to be presented in August 2015).

The performance will last approximately 2hrs 30mins, with a 20 minute interval.

Cast:

Beatrice                        TANYA HARVEY

Benedick                       MATT LANE

Claudio                          DARBY QUINLIVAN

Hero                               JAYDEN SCHRICKKER

Don Pedro                     PETER UNIACKE

Leonato                          TIMOTHY LIEBER

Don John                        ALEXANDER LANGTON

Antonio                           GEORGE PENDER

Innogen                           REBECCA SIMMONS

Margaret                          SHOSHANNA GRIFFIN

Ursula                              CLAIRE MCCAUGHEY

Borachio                          CLEVE SHAW

Conrade                           LAURA UNIACKE

Dogberry                          MITCH DAGLISH

Verges                              LUKE MCCAUGHEY

The Watch                       REBECCA CONDON, JULIA DANN, ANDRINA DIXEN, DION HERRING-GULL,

Friar Francis                    RO MCGILLIVRAY

Messenger                        SCOTT BISHOP

Gardener                          RO MCGILLIVRAY, JOHANNA UNIACKE

Dancers                             TEAH MARTIN, JESS KIRKBRIDE, ALEX STARK, JORDAN TAYLOR, GEMMA THORNEYCROFT, MALEAH BECKWITH, GEORGIA STARK, LUCINDA WAGSTAFF, CHELSEA SKILTON

Musicians                           URSULA GENAEHR, NATASHA KRONENBERG, DECLAN PATRALA, ANDRINA DIXEN, RACHEL BUCHAN, SUZANNE HICKS

The song Sigh No More is arranged and performed by Jodie Caroline, inspired by William Shakespeare.

Director (notes):

Directing Shakespeare is something that would daunt most experienced directors, so why am I taking on Much Ado About Nothing – a novice with no particular acting experience and no experience as a director? Masochistic tendencies? Arrogance? Sheer blindness to my own shortcomings?

My experience acting in last year’s TOTCo production A Midsummer Night’s Dream reminded me of two things I had forgotten in the twenty-odd years since I last acted on the stage:

First, William Shakespeare was undeniably a genius, who understood human nature in a way that humanity hasn’t seen since. He practically invented modern English. Look at the words or phrases that appear in Shakespeare’s works for the first time. English as we understand it today started sometime around 1600 in the upstairs room of an old building in London and has been powering along ever since. He did that.

Second, there is the fun of watching the words come to life. I had the joy of watching a group of people who sort-of knew one another, some with a fair knowledge of the play, some with no idea, gather together twice a week and become these characters. The point I repeatedly made to the cast was that Shakespeare was an actor before anything else, and the words don’t come to life until you speak them.

Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, and for good reason. We see these characters around us every day, if we care to look. Gaze past the ‘lords and ladies’ and these are people just like us. Play a game with me now – where would these characters be today? I suspect Beatrice would be a university lecturer in women’s studies. Benedick I can see as a real estate agent. Sadly, I suspect Don John would be a commercial lawyer. Borachio a Hollywood stuntman. Conrade a tattoo artist. Don Pedro the owner of a successful dating website. Watch the play, and at the end make up your own list. There are no right answers.

A word of thanks. First, to Pieta Swann, listed here as assistant director. Never did a director need more assistance than me, and Pieta, I thank you. You worked harder than I did, held in my more absurd flights of fancy (no flaming zeppelins, no pink unicorns!) and came up with practical suggestions and compromises that invariably broke severe logjams and make things actually work. Thanks also to Miguel and the rest of the committee of The Other Theatre Company. We are here because you decided to do something different. Thank you also to our generous sponsors. And then there’s the cast! Thanks to you all for your hard work, your time, your patience, and your enthusiasm. Finally, thanks to my family for supporting me through this.

I hope you enjoy our show. I hope we shadows have not offended. TONY MCCAUGHEY

Crew:

Director                             TONY MCCAUGHEY

Asst. Director                   PIETA SWANN

Stage Manager                  MIGUEL DE OLIVEIRA

Asst. Stage Manager        JODIE SCHUTTE

Stage Hand                         REBECCA MARSHALL

Sound/Lighting                 MIGUEL DE OLIVEIRA, GARY HAYES, DEREK WALLACE

Costumes                             RO MCGILLIVRAY, PAMELA KRA– USE, KATRINA WIMHURST, BORDESCROS SCA

Armorer and Props            PETER UNIACKE, PIETA SWANN, RO MCGILLIVRAY

Sets                                        MIGUEL DE OLIVEIRA, ROHAN O’FARRELL, GEORGE PENDER, PETER UNIACKE, JODIE SCHUTTE, CAST

Promotions                       SHOSHANNA GRIFFIN, RO MCGILLIVRAY

Graphic Designer             LAURA UNIACKE of RUBY JAY DESIGN

Dance                                   WODONGA CALISTHENICS ACADEMY

Music                                    THE SQUEAKERS RECORDER ENSEMBLE

Front of House                   PAM MCCAUGHEY, ELLEN SPLITTGERBER, ANDREE PENDER, EMILY COPE WILLIAMS

Merchandise                       ROD HALSTED, DONNA BISHOP, AIDA BAHARESTANI

Set Transportation             GLENN ROSE, MARK CARTER, ASH CARTER

Awards:

ZAPA = Zonta Awards for Performing Arts

ZAPA Awards – Winners

Best Drama

Best Costume

Best Set Design

Best Sound

Best Actor          MATT LANE

Best Actress        TANYA HARVEY

ZAPA Awards – Nominations

Best Lighting

Best Supporting Actor DARBY QUINLIVAN, PETER UNIACKE, ALEXANDER LANGTON

Best Supporting Actress LAURA UNIACKE, JAYDEN SCHRICKKER, SHOSHANNA GRIFFIN

ZAPA Awards – Special Mentions

The Squeakers

Wodonga Calisthenics Academy

GEORGY Awards – Nominations

Best Supporting Actor      DARBY QUINLIVAN, PETER UNIACKE

Best Supporting Actress  JAYDEN SCHRICKKER

Go to Photo Gallery

 

 

  1. Antonio
  2. Beatrice
  3. Benedick
  4. Borachio
  5. Claudio
  6. Conrad
  7. Dogberry
  8. Don John
  9. Don Pedro
  10. Friar and Margaret
  11. Gardener
  12. Hero
  13. Leonato
  14. Sexton
  15. Ursula
  16. Verges
  17. Watch – Andrina
  18. Watch – Dion
  19. Watch – Julia
  20. Watch – Rebecca


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